Behind the Online: Scary Things, Scary Day
Weekly Column by Dave Bonnewell
Editor's Note: This is a weekly column by Staff Writer Dave Bonnewell. The column is called "Behind the Online" and will look at different events from around the world of MMOs. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of MMORPG.com, its staff or management.
So, here I am in deep thought, a one man brainstorming team if you will, trying to come up with something a little different than the death knells that were my first two column pieces. As is the sad case with many self-confessed (and those in denial about being) MMOG addicts, time eludes me. Instinctually, hauntingly, I knew that the deadline for this week's column was fast approaching. I slowly peered up with much angst at the desk calendar dangling menacingly from above. Two days. Two damn, dirty days to come up with a topic and stretch it out to something resembling an MMOG-related column At least it doesn't have to be good, I reassured myself. Why break precedent? Then it hit me. October 31st? Halloween!... My deadline falls on Halloween! Sweet. And lo and behold, a theme was born.
Ah yes, Halloween (or All Hallows Eve to all you zany little pagans out there). That great time-honored tradition where the wee little ones dress up as Spiderman, Sponge Bob or some such brightly drawn fictional early Saturday morning TV personality, drink in the excitement and the cool night air, and deliver unto neighbors the choice of handing over candy or getting a whiff of malodorous tootsies. It's also a night when teens dress up in whatever the hell they can find, drink in whatever the hell alcohol they can get their hands on and do whatever the hell they want to people's houses.
So, I reflect briefly on what scary means to me and find myself Googlin' my name along with the word scary. Web, Images, Video... nothing scary about me? Tell that to anyone who's ever spent more than fifteen minutes in my presence. But then I notice in the top left hand corner, "Did you mean: Dave Bonneywell scary". Wow, that's interesting So, I click on it. It turns out my name is one letter away from one very scary individual. But it's a cool kind scary, because he's a famous Hollywood and indie sci-fi/fantasy/horror painter/sculpturist/make-up artist. WOW! This is one busy, multi-talented dude, but can he write? Google the guy sometime, I promise his work is worth checking out.
What scares me more than the thought of video game-bashing glory hound Hilary Clinton following in her husband's footsteps or video game-bashing glory hound Jack Thompson wielding similar power? Why zombies, of course! Unlike the other two moaning, brain-dead, brain-eating clumps of undead, vaguely human flesh, however, I actually find zombies fascinating. In fact, I'd venture to say most of us gamers do. Maybe it's the great cult-classic zombie movies made by George A. Romero. Maybe it's the shooting, burning, bashing and smashing goodness of zombie video games. Nah, it's both.
Again I put the mouse button smack down on that Google, this time searching for what the world needs now, zombie MMOGs, sweet zombie MMOGs. While a couple of interesting looking free zombie-themed MMOs (Urban Dead and Project Necrosis) topped the Google list, what really caught my eye was Exanimus. The term Exanimus means roughly "without life" in Latin, while Exanimus the game means playing as either a "living survivor" or as one of the roaming undead in a MMO world devastated by a post-apocalyptic future. Think Dead Rising meats Stubbs the Zombie.
Rotten Corpse (love that name), the team behind Exanimus, warns that their zombie thriller MMOG will be a "dark and visually intense environment" and that the content will be specifically designed for mature players over the age of 18 Take that Jack and Hilary! Since the game is still in pre-production, very little is available in the way of gameplay mechanics, media or graphics. Rotten Corpse plans to publish Exanimus in-house unless a suitable external publisher can be found and a deal struck. The success of any in-house published video game, let alone a zombie-themed MMO one, is iffy at best. Still, this is one truly unique MMO to watch out for and it'll be interesting to see just how Rotten Corpse plans to keep the zombie theme 'fresh' in a long-running MMO setting They're coming to get you, Barbara!
I'm Dave "Kawika" Bonnewell and that's the way I see it.