Pre-Apocalypse: Humanity’s Obsession with the “End”

Where Have All the Children Gone
by Duchess Flux

Being an avid gamer, I come across a wide variety of stories and concepts expressed in a unique way.  One of the most common, recurring themes lately has been that of post-apocalyptic scenarios.

There is a long string of games that focus on this theme: The Last of Us, Day Z, I Am Alive, Fallout, and Destiny just to name a few.

And all of these stories focus on a time when humanity is at its weakest.  A concept that explores what life would be like where all of these things we love and enjoy now are just… gone.  Resources are scarce, and you would be lucky just to survive the event that started it all, more so the years that follow.

What fascinates me about this concept is that despite advances in technology and medicine that have improved and lengthened our lives, we keep coming back to this “end”.  It is an ever silent reminder of our own mortality whether by our own hands or by circumstances beyond our control.  Frequently, we are the objects of our own demise.

But underneath all of this death, destruction, and mayhem there is actually a ray of hope that subtly peeks through the chaos.

There are survivors, and we can rebuild.

It is no mystery that life tends to have cycles.  The “Circle of Life” is a cliche for a reason.  In these stories there is always a sliver of hope that humanity can rebuild and return to its former glory, but better than before.

A great example of this hope and cycle is at the end of Assassin’s Creed III which you can view here (the section I’m talking about starts at 7:30).  Desmond (the main character) has the choice to either save the few and restart the cycle of events that led up to this point in the game, or sacrifice his own life and save billions of people.

Birth and death, sunrise and sunset, economies ebb and flow, even our concept of time is a bit circular (ever done anything “around the clock”?)

So why?  Why focus on this?

Personally, I feel that despite how scary death can be, exploring this end and what happens after is a driving force to our own advancement.  Humanity wants to improve and the limited time we have pushes us to constantly look for ways to do that.  In that sense, death is quite beautiful.

I think we are drawn to his because we know all things do come to an end and, while somewhat dark, it is a good thing to let our imaginations run a little wild with it too.

What about you?  What do you think is the reason for our fascination with post-apocalyptic content?

or, if you’d rather,

What would you do in a world like that?  Pick your doomsday scenario and let me know what you’d do or what you would expect life to be like.

Either way, I’d love to get your feedback in the comments below.

Grace and Peace.

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