"Rated M," a new adult gaming group created by the Muncie Public Library, had their first event in the Maring-Hunt Library on Oct. 5. The group played the video game Left 4 Dead 2 to experience the zombie genre. Patrick Calvert // DN
New adult gaming group aims to critique video games
The undead were present at the Maring-Hunt Library, looking for human brains to satisfy their never-ending hunger. They ran through hallways in hordes, clawed doors down and took chunks of meat out of the living.
But don’t worry — there's no need to bring the authorities to Muncie.
A new adult gaming group that was created by the Muncie Public Library had their first event at the Maring-Hunt Library on Oct. 5, and the zombies were all part of the video game "Left 4 Dead 2." The newly formed group called "Rated M" now aims to dig into the zombie genre with a focus on gaming.
The next program Rated M plans to host is called "Fright or Flight: Horror Game Mechanics," and it will take place Oct. 12 at the Maring-Hunt Library.
Dan Allen, a digital mentor for the Muncie Public Library, started the program with an anthology about zombies and encouraged the attendees to ask questions.
“What we’ve got is a group where we want to unpack video games and critique them in the same style as any book club or any film club,” Allen said. “[Video games] are an art form that doesn’t get much love.”
After the presentation, zombie fans were able to play an array of games in the zombie genre, including "Typing of the Dead," "Zombies Inc.," "Plants vs. Zombies" and "Left 4 Dead 2."
Dan Berenato, a graduate student studying telecommunications at Ball State who is working with the Muncie Public Library with the programs, said he likes zombie games because they offer something different to the gamer.
“It all comes down to survival,” he said. “There is a hopelessness in it, whether you are playing by yourself or with your friends. You are fighting to survive.”
Berenato said he also likes zombies in general because there are so many different ways a zombie can come to life. The sources of zombies in video games have come from super viruses, military experiments and even radiation from a nuclear war.
Rebecca Parker, the technology coordinator for the Muncie Public Library, said she believes the idea around zombies represents the feeling of being completely consumed and overwhelmed. However, she doesn’t think zombies are evil.
“[Zombies] aren’t evil,” she said. "They are neutral. They are basically animals."
Parker said she also feels like zombies make people think about how they would prepare for an apocalyptic situation. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention thinks so as well.
In 2011, the CDC released a blog post titled “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” in an effort to promote emergency preparedness.
“[People] don’t really do that with vampires or serial killers,“ Parker said. “For some reason, zombies are a lot more real to us than other monsters.”
The next program Rated M is hosting is called "Fright or Flight: Horror Game Mechanics," and it will take place Oct. 12 at the Maring-Hunt Library. Those interested can learn more about the next program on the library’s calendar.