If you are a 20-something like me, you probably remember the Y2K. For the younger generation, remember when that guy high on bath salts? What about that Mayan Calendar business? No? Don’t follow “end of the world” conspiracies? Okay, fine. For most of us, we have certain specific fears. Whether you are afraid of heights or spiders, we all have one fear we may or may not acknowledge; the fear of the unknowns. Things we don’t understand or yet to comprehend. Ideas like the future or death is something we can either be happy or dread would happen because it is something we have never experienced. What if I told you, fear of the unknown is a natural feeling.
There is nothing to feel dreadful for when it comes to things we yet to know. We face it together in our own way. When we lose something in our lives, fear is there to remind us we are still alive. Being fearful is a natural response to things we are scared of such as darkness and heights. To me, we feel fear because we are not quite sure what’s there beyond what we can see. We are not scared of the colour black normally, but when we’re in the dark we are scared not because it’s dark; I think we are all just afraid what is within it. For the large part, we all get startled or scared based on what we previous encountered. So if we are in dark places all the time, usually we can get comfortable with it and we overcome it. How about on a grander scale? What if this scenario of fear goes beyond just one person and it’s a population?
Over the last couple decades, the western world has changed from worrying on past mistakes to brazenly take on challenges beyond what we can full understand outside our own understanding. We see things through one way mirrors. We see and examine things from our enclosed space to make assumptions of others. As a society, it can be dangerous for us to be looking through this mirror. We can do what we can to put labels on people to the extent where we can catalogue everyone and everything in the world based on these assumptions. As a gamer, we are presented these assumptions. The end game scenarios presented to us show a torn world from it’s former glory and a world where the places of pride are bloody battlefield where we get by through killing others to achieve our goals and needs. It always happens at once, the spark that lit the gunpowder. The world’s fragility, regardless of it’s daintiness and finesse, would be able to manage to get through the first of many days.
In any apocalyptic scenario I could conjure, I always account for optimism of which a few good people would prevail to defend their way of life or the lives of others. Whether they would be soldiers fighting sentient robots or doctors curing the human zombie virus. They will be the ones we will be looking forward to get us through the upcoming days; hope in a nutshell. Life would continue as close to normal before any situation goes out of hand, after which it would fall apart a bit at a time. The hardest thing lose for anyone is control, because they are scared of what will happen if they do. Which would explain why dictatorships would like they do; they keep the same people in power and to maintain it, they use whatever power to gain more power to hold on to their power. This cycle only breaks when the leader does not possess everything. This is when revolution (or rebellion depending on which historian you ask) occurs to star anew. In our culture as refined as it is now, started with revolutions of both peaceful and violent natures. These fumbling and failing are reminders we are all part of something bigger and we should never gain power by taking it from others. An apocalypse whether it is natural or man made would be the greatest lesson in humility to all mankind. When the electricity powers down and the oil dries up, we will depend on the largest resource we have; ourselves.
To me, an apocalypse is not really the end of humanity. It is revolution at it’s largest when we are not generally prepared to face it. Usually it will be slow going at first where the socio-economic systems break down in places. All the end results would be people trying to calm people down and attempt to maintain order even if there are shortages on resources like food and fuel. Even as the world falls apart around us and society ensuring its survival, would we be able to see it in time to save ourselves? Would the apocalypse be here without us knowing it? Could a day, a few month, a couple year down the road; would that be all the time we have left?
Hard to image what the beginning would be like, the collapse. Would it be full of civil unrest? Catastrophic failings to our human hubris? Zombies roaming the Earth? What would life be like right before everything kicks off? Would those people even know it was coming? Would we even know it was coming? We never really look too far ahead of us as a society. We are always looking for the here and now; what we need now so we don’t have to worry about tomorrow. We never really look too far ahead of ourselves to really see what we can do to keep everything steady as it is now. I remember hearing so much about peak oil, the world supply of petroleum is running out and we reached a point where we can’t get anymore of it. We humans use it for many things; from fuels to fun toys, from tools and trade. What if suddenly there was no more oil left? Would we still be here on our computers? Are we still going to be able to open a plastic bag of food and drive our cars? Of course a few have been looking into alternatives to mitigate our dependency on fossil fuel, but would this research reach mass production? Would it be just in time before we run out of fuel for everyone?
However the world falls apart, the question remains; are we prepared for everything? There were speculations the 2000’s were going to be chaotic, where the end to our means finally arrives. Predictions of resource depletion and violence if we continued our way of life. Perhaps the apocalypse is already here. Perhaps this is what they meant. Did we even see it coming?