The zombie generation

Nick Glunt

Our front yards are swarmed with a slowly approaching undead menace wearing rags, football uniforms and disco gear. In desperation, we place aggressive botanical weapons like mushrooms and sunflowers in our yard as protection from the brain-eaters.

This image filled the screens of every computer in my four-man dorm room over this past week. The video game “Plants vs. Zombies” has become an addiction.

It’s a simple enough game. You click falling sun tokens to collect points the player can spend on aggressive or defensive plants to put on the game board as zombies shamble slowly across the 2-D screen in small hordes.

Yet we find ourselves entranced with it.

This last week has been an eye-opening experience for me. Instead of going on walks or at least playing a multi-player board game, I found myself sitting in a group of people all playing the same one-player game not once, but several times.

Technology is slowly pulling at our social lives, be it through social media like Facebook and Twitter, games like “Plants vs. Zombies” or communication techniques like text messaging. The web that connects us all is becoming more and more digitized as the years tick by and technology advances.

All I can think about is that scene from 2008’s “Wall-E” in which the little robot Wall-E first comes across humans aboard a spacecraft they’d been vacationing on for 700 years.

At one point during this disturbingly prophetic scene, Wall-E sees two overly obese people ridiculously disconnected with their surroundings. They float along in hover chairs right next to each other, chatting on video screens, each completely unaware of the other’s proximity.

The sad part is that I can already see this happening.

I see people too busy typing on their Blackberries to notice the deep puddle approaching. Friends of mine typed to one another the other day over Facebook to see if the other was awake yet. Hell, I wished a happy birthday to someone in the newsroom over the Internet when he was sitting less than 15 feet from me.

It’s getting ridiculous. Our generation is plummeting into a strange realm of technological reliance. We’re becoming the very zombies I killed all week in that video game.

And despite the fact that I’m entirely aware of this downhill struggle, I know I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue on this path for the rest of my life, I’m sure. The effects of technology are detrimental to our generation, but it’s too much a part of our lives now to slow down or back off.

We are already a zombie generation.

Now where did I put that “Plants vs. Zombies” shortcut?

Contact Nick Glunt at [email protected].