Anyone with a Xbox or PS3 has played or at least heard of a zombie video game. But an undead experience that was once relegated to the virtual and movie world has now moved into the real one. Sort of.
ABC News reports the U.K.-based company Zed Events has been using an abandoned Berkshire mall to provide thrill seekers with a game simulating a zombie apocalypse. (Zed Events hires local students to play the part of the zombies.)
Zombie Apocalypse organizer Lee Fields argues the idea of a slow, encroaching and inescapable death is what draws people to zombies. Making the fear factor more real only increases the draw -- and the cost. But the game's organizers believe in the national home of the film "28 Days Later," both locals and tourists who can afford the $189 price of a live-action zombie game will gladly pay to play.
And participants should get their money's worth. The company's website explains:
Teams meet with a team of 'police firearms specialists' who will provide you with airsoft weapons (these look and work like the real thing and fire a small plastic projectile) and give you basic training on how to use them to stay alive! After this there follows a 2–2.5 hour session where you will be part of a movie-like story which unfolds in real time. You and your group will take on the zombies in a “run and gun” battle." However the experience is not just about shooting zombies – ammunition will be limited with only a few opportunities to refuel – meaning that you’ll need speed, steady nerves and smart thinking if you want to make it out alive!
Lucky for those who don't like zombies but do like to get their kicks in former retail spaces, Zed Events is not the only company in the U.K. taking advantage of recently failed stores. The Guardian reports a new industry has emerged around re-imagining uses for abandoned stores and shopping malls. One project cited by the newspaper included a bumper car circuit installed in what had been an Allied Carpet showroom.
And even the End Times have an end. Zed Events tells potential customers that its mall is slated for demolition. "When it's gone," their website warns, "it's gone!"