‘Walking Dead’ returns: Why you should (not) fear zombie apocalypse

Feb. 11, 2013 | 4:28 p.m.

Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride), left, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Andrea (Laurie Holden) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Andrea (Laurie Holden) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

Andrea (Laurie Holden) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

The Governor (David Morrissey) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

The Governor (David Morrissey) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Tina Rowden / AMC)

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) in a scene from an episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward guest stars as a walker in Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who also popped up in "The Dark Knight Rises," gets made up as a zombie for his guest appearance in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, left, and special effects makeup artist Kevin Wasner show off Hines' jersey number in bruises on the back of his head. Hines makes a guest appearance as a walker in Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead," "The Suicide King." (Gene Page / AMC)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward on the set of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward guest stars as a walker in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

As those who tuned in to Sunday night’s “Walking Dead” know, the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner.

“Walking Dead” scored its highest ratings ever with its mid-season premiere Sunday, The Times’ Show Tracker blog reports. Fans of that AMC show know all about the reanimation of corpses. It will happen either because hell’s too full so the dead walk the Earth; cosmic radiation from a downed space probe sweeps across the Earth; or some particularly angry monkeys are set loose in Britain.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants us to be ready for a zombie apocalypse. Seriously.

Check out their Web page on surviving amid the undead crowd.  If you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for anything, the CDC says (though they do need to switch out that battery-powered radio with a hand-cranked model).

CDC-zombie-preparedness
A screenshot from the CDC’s zombie preparedness site.

The CDC even created a comic, “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic,” in which the CDC warns of a rapidly spreading phenomenon: “symptoms include slow movement, slurred speech and violent tendencies.”

But here’s a little tidbit to restore our optimism in the future: At any given moment, there are around 10,000 people honing their zombie-slaying skills with Left 4 Dead 2, according to data provided by the game’s developer, Valve. And video-game skills translate into real-world skills, right? More than 12 million have purchased either L4D2 or its predecessor, according to an interview provided to VG247 by Chet Faliszek, a writer with Valve.

And, of those well-trained masses, a chosen few will be able to lead survivors to a new dawn. 1.7%, to be exact.

My brain feels safer already.

More hope for mankind is found in “The Walking Dead’s” interactive wing, with players of the acclaimed video-game counterpart showing their humanity in the face of the zombie apocalypse: 87.4% to 12.6% chose not to shoot at a troubled woman aiming a crossbow at them before she’d said her piece, according to data provided by developer TellTale Games.  Sixty-eight percent chose to try to save the life of a man having a heart attack (at the risk of him becoming a zombie), and 63.4% chose to be honest when given a chance to hide their murky background from a stranger. Not bad, even if, in true “Walking Dead” fashion, good intentions may not pan out in the long run.

It’s a triumph of good over evil.

P.S. The no. 1 reason to not be concerned about a zombie apocalypse? It’s entirely fictitious.

– Morgan Little

morgan.little@latimes.com

Twitter: @mlittledc

Comments


One Response to ‘Walking Dead’ returns: Why you should (not) fear zombie apocalypse

  1. Brett says:

    look up zombies in haiti. Very real; makes a little more sense, however, they aren’t corpses, and (fyi), video games have very little to do with reality, anyway… ;-)

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