Why zombies matter

There’s an enthusiastic bunch at Spelens Hus here! They were even up for a late-night Zombie Cinema game, sight unseen, “Ron has it in his bag? Sure, let’s try it.” The game is maxed at six players and I was turning people away.

The result was an extremely energetic session, occasionally shouty, with vivid characters and plenty of confrontational or reconciliatory moments.

Play wasn’t recorded, so the video presentation is just me reflecting on it, and also hoping some of the participants will comment and probably raise objections. It’s half an hour, in two parts.

Some of the topics include:

  • A bit of the history of the game, as authored by Eero Tuovinen and physically assembled in my basement at the time
  • The physical nature of the game, including cultural tendencies in interpreting one’s first encounter with a marked board and pawns you move around on it
  • Character creation and the purpose/function of characters in this game
  • How our story emerged and how the mechanics played into what occurred in it
  • Observations of enthusiasm, intensity, and social-commentary content in this game as an example of the zombies idiom
  • Thoughts on RPGs as packaged kits with familiar physical components, in general and in reference to Spione

I’m happy to receive questions and comparisons, and I’d really like to know who else has played, especially since the game fell out of sight about a year after its release.

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3 responses to “Why zombies matter”

  1. A curiosity of publication history

    Zombeja! Ovella! was published first in Roolipelaaja-magazine, now long dead and buried. It was maybe a couple of spreads. The English version with the ice cream sticks and the VHS cover came later.

    My own experiences are limited to one game at the Jyväskylä rpg club Marope, about which I remember quite little. Oh, and a scene or two at Ropecon, which ended up going nowhere. I think it was late or we had time constraints, but the details escape me.

    • I’ve never seen the physical

      I've never seen the physical version with the sticks. The version at GenCon the following August used three sets of cards for character creation.

    • Hmmm, it seems the ice cream

      Hmmm, it seems the ice cream stick edition was in Finnish and a follow-up to the Roolipelaaja edition, and the English edition is different again.

      Here are Eero's ideas about the game on Arkkikivi website, for the interested (in Finnish): http://www.arkkikivi.net/julkaisut/zombipeli

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