Apparently zombies are really good for tourism. Who knew?
OK, there have been zombie games before, and they've been fun, but how many can boast 2,000 zombies in a single town-shattering event? World Real Games transformed Collado Villalba, a municipality near Madrid, Spain, into one massive zombie hellhole, complete with troops to defend the uninfected. Or become zombie tapas. My money's on tapas, but you never know; maybe zombies understand ¡No Pasarán!
It's all the brainchild of Diego de La Concepción, president of World Real Games. He used to manage one small paintball range, and now he's the undead savior of Spanish tourism. Zombie Survival has become a massive event, needing 150 staff just to organize everything on the ground, never mind the professional actors hired to play special zombies in set scenes.
The game's simple enough. If you're not undead, then you're given a passport, an identifying handkerchief, and a wallet full of fake money for bribes. Do you want to live? Then stay out of the clutches of the undead from 11 pm Saturday until 730 am the following Monday, preferably by finding clues and equipment hidden somewhere in the town. As for what happens in between, well, that's entirely up to chance. Did you get eaten in the first five minutes? Too bad!
"The player can be infected and removed five minutes into the game or spend hours looking for clues and find nothing," says Diego de La Concepción. "The frustration is what makes a real Zombie Survival game. If you take the Zombie Survival as a treasure hunt game, you will end up being removed. We want players who strive to live, get involved, relate to the zombies and the other players."
It's a substantial boost to the local economy. Not only do the bars and restaurants benefit - people drink very heavily during a zombie apocalypse - but WRG also sources as much as it can from local businesses. Whether t-shirts or actors, it relies on what it can find or hire locally. It's a touring show, moving from town to town, spreading like a kind of virus. A very popular virus; WRG's already booked solid through 2015, and is filling up for 2016.
The video you see here is actually from its Guadalajara event, but if you want to know how things are going, WRG has some videos up in its YouTube channel. It probably helps if you speak Spanish, but you don't need linguistic talent to comprehend the unquenchable hunger of a zombie horde. WRG does have a Spanish language website, so feel free to check it out!