DayZ is a multiplayer zombie survival sim which, though buggy and incomplete, produces anecdotes of drama, desperation and clown mask-wearing weirdos. Emily Richardson has been playing it with a question: can you be a good person in the videogame post-apocalypse?
I’m waiting behind a big green house in the grass, watching the city below me from my little hill. It’s my second time in DayZ, the first consisting mostly of finding and eating sardines with my guide, Andy. I’m waiting for him to find me when I see a silhouette coming up through the grass toward me, a big M4 rifle pointed at my head.
I yell, ‘Wait, wait, don’t do that!’ and turn and run round the other side of the house. When I turn to look back at him he’s stood waving. It’s Andy, but as a woman, in different clothes and wielding a weapon I hadn’t ever seen before. He thinks I’m an idiot.
I’m so new to this that I feel a lot like the hopeless little kid from The Road and Andy is a bit like my dad, leading me through the world and trying to keep me alive. But not in a weird way, that’s just an analogy. I have no idea what I’m doing, though, or what my course of action is for bashing into other survivors.
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