Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SHTF video games/movies...‏

Hello Fernando,

First, I want to compliment you on having such an excellent and useful blog. I have purchased and enjoyed your book, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others who are interested in truly surviving and thriving in a world becoming more unstable on a daily basis. I discovered your site during the whole 'Coast to Coast JWR controversy', and if there's one positive thing which can be said about that incident, it's that you now have one more avid fan. Thank you for promoting a realistic presentation of survivalism rather than one that's not grounded in reality - as is the majority of survivalism currently being peddled in America.

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching and video games and DVD movies being pretty much a staple of modern day gift giving, do you know of any which you feel accurately reflect a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario to a reasonable degree? While there are a TON of post-apocalyptic movies and video games out there to choose from, which do you feel comes the closest to representing what really happens in a societal collapse similar to what happened in Argentina? Or are there any out there at all?

It seems that SHTF would be a great topic to develop - especially for a video game, given the current world situation and exploding interest in survivalism . One can almost imagine the possibilities: it could be an RPG scenario with preparedness as its primary objective, or maybe a shooter with staying alive as the main focus - or of course some combination of the two. The possibilities are endless, and it could serve both as individual entertainment and of course, as training.

I hope I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here, as there may be some games/films out there which already represent what I've described. I don't mind a little SciFi, but I'm pretty well saturated to the point of madness with games/films of buxom Amazons kickboxing and blasting their way through hordes of post-apocalyptic zombies. I've seen you mention and advertise the Fallout series of games on your blog, and they look interesting. I don't have much experience with them, although I have recently picked up Fallout New Vegas. Haven't had a chance to really get into it yet.

Thanks for all the hard work that you do, Fernando, in putting together your book and maintaining your blog, and good luck in your plans on immigrating to the United States. I hope you are eventually successful in your endeavor, as such talented and resourceful individuals such as yourself should be welcomed here with open arms.

Hasta Luego


Hi Rodrigo, nice to have you on board. Actions speak lauder than words and people that have met me have a pretty good idea of who I am.
 Lets just say that if, for example, you boast about how charitable you will be after the end of the world, yet you claim not to have enough money to pay those that you refer to as your “correspondents” for their work, then those words are empty indeed.
Its like we always say guys, if you just talk about how great (or generous, or brave, etc)  you’ll be “after SHTF”, that means nothing. Its what you do NOW that matters. That goes for training, personal and home security, working out, getting rid of debt, sorting out your life, your finances, your job, your relationship with your family and loved ones, taking care of things now, not later. Its specially pointless when you make all these plans for after the end of the world, specially since the world isn’t ending any time soon. Pretty convenient. Survival reality vs Survival Fantasy is topic that I’ll cover in another post. I’ve written about it before but its worth revising, specially these days where everything on TV  is “Survival” “Apocalypse”, “End of the world” and such. Unfortunately this confuses people who honestly want to prepare for real world events, yet end up wasting time, money and energy in things that aren’t useful, preparing for events that occur in movies rather than the real world.

Holydays are just around the corner indeed. Before I forget I’d like to mention something. I’ve received several emails about dropping the price of my book for a few days. Readers such as yourself have read it, liked it and want to give it away as a gift for loved ones for Christmas. The book has been selling beyond my own expectations for over a year now in spite of the high price, (Thank you SO much, all of you!) so I’ve decided to drop the price 40% ($10 drop in price) so that those interested can buy more to give away. This will not be permanent, just a couple days, after that I’ll go back to the 24.95 price which is the price that allows me to keep writing and blogging.

Back to your email, can’t say I find much practical info in most end of the world movies. Mad Max is fun but other than the fun factor what are you learning? Fun is good enough though, so I highly recommend it! :-)
Alive is a good movie and most of you have seen it already I guess. Makes it painfully clear how important it is to have food, water, shelter and means of signaling/communication. A little planning goes a long way, specially when traveling in the Andes.
I liked The Road, actually liked the movie better than the book. Didn’t like the writing style, no matter what critics say.
Savior and Empire of the Sun are both good movies that show what happens to people that get caught in a war. Savior was pretty accurate in terms of how unrealistic it was regarding facing superior forces, when hiding and evading is your only option. The Empire of the Sun has lots of good stuff in it. I’ve watched it as a kid a long time ago, saw it again this year a couple times and always found new bits of food for thought. Its based on the personal experiences of the novel author, so its realistic enough to learn one or two things from it.
If you want something from Argentina, there’s “The Take” which is a Canadian documentary, workers reopening the factory that broke, leaving them without jobs, turning it into a worker cooperative.
“Bombon: The Dog”, is about a 50 something year old knife seller that doesn’t find anyone that can afford his knives in the post 2000 Argentina, at 50 he’s not likely to find a job either. His luck start to change for better after a good Samaritan action gets him a Dogo Argentino. Haven’t seen this movie but its on my short list since I’ve heard good comments.
Regarding videogames, similar to Argentina’s 2000 crisis? I don’t think that would be a fun videogame to play. :-) Bored, jobless and worried about being mugged or shot isn’t good videogame material. Maybe they could do a free roam game with some of those elements, a bit of bartering, job hunting and shooting, but soon enough it would get unrealistic because otherwise it wouldn’t be fun. Starts to sound like GTA, and its true that criminals here get away with that kind of stuff.  I just don’t think there’s nothing you’ll be learning from them regarding real survival, but hey, as long as its fun that’s all I ask of a video game. 

I’ve been playing Fallout: New Vegas these days. It’s been several months since I turned the xbox on, not much free time to play with a family, training, writing and other activities. Maybe its missing that coolness found in the old Fallouts, I and II, but if you liked Fallout III you’ll sure enjoy Fallout: New Vegas.  Fallout New Vegas mentions that you can shoot 38 Special and 44 special out of 357 magnum and 44 magnum guns so that’s a bit of real info there. The character also uses reloading benches he finds occasionally and can put together ammo if he has the cases, primers, powder and lead. That’s as far as it goes in terms of reality.
If anyone has other recommendations, both movies and videogames, I’d like to hear them so please comment.
Take care Rodrigo,


PS: Just changed the price to 14.95 but it said it may take up to 5 days until the price is updated.


Anonymous said...

"The Road" would be my gift to all.
Folks just gotta get 'it', understand the possible extreme consequences, the what that is at stake if they do not take action and make it enough action, not only personally, but politically as well. Alas it is too late as we head into the abyss for the lack guts and apathy that has proven to be the American people. Europeans laugh at our ignorance and cowardice to face the facts to chase the facts and grapple with solutions. Perhaps 20% will actually do anything at all. Perhaps 5% will do enough. Actions do speak louder than words. There is a allot of talk, lots and lots of talk,and then even more talk. But no action. Carpe Denim. 'Seize the Day.' 'Action this day.' Odds are you apart of the growing 20%. Is that good enough? Nope.

It is firstly a mental game. Yes it is difficult to face what should be very difficult times, worse than what your great or grand parents faced and we are sooo soft these days, mentally and physically. I have empathy for those paralyzed with fear, depressed that their lives as they know it will come to an end. I went through the process. Better to do it now than latter when you will need all the wits one has.

There are things worse than death. Death might be welcomed by those suffering, so do not let yourself and family suffer. Talk about prepping and exploring an experience from a distance is useful. Experiencing the possible horror of tough times through the magic of Hollywood can bring the message to their hearts and soul and to yours. Hopefully they know how to pray.

FYI, this rant was self censored. Thanks for listening. a

Anonymous said...

Part 2

BTW, the concern that the global economy might implode in a fashion that only nightmares senarios such as The Road captures is real, or more like in my estimation, a prolonged and massive global depression, has been demonstrated by the offer of 'Foundation X' through Lord Blackheath of the British Parliment to save first Britian's economy, then others, with enormous sums of donated money. Foundation X is so fearful that the global economy may self destruct and their wealth along with it, have decided to step in and intheir words, "save the world". Actions do speak louder than words. What we face could be much worse than Argentina's experience. The desperate actions of elite, the outrageously wealthy's desire to pump hundreds of billions into the western economy, back up that claim.

The video of Blackheath making the offer is easily found on YouTube by searching the key terms. a

thatswhatswrongwithpeople said...

Maybe something could be done in the FREE game "Second Life."

DaShui said...

I recommend "A Clockwork Orange" for an apocalyptic flick. When it came out in 1968 it was shockingly violent, now not so much, as the times have changed. Watch for the line,"we don't have room in prison for criminals nowadays, they will be full of political prisoners soon."
So right he was, nowadays everyone is subject to a TSA prision-like strip search, hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

I like the "Milagro Beanfield War" a lot.
It's just a fun movie to watch the little guys band together and win one, pointing their guns at the big bad bullies. The whole family can watch it.

Anonymous said...

Intro for the "Frontlines: Fuel of War" video game;

PomPomPom said...

Out of topic here but worth your attention.
There is a call spreading on the internet like fire in drought: everybody take their cash out of the banks on december 7.
It started in France but is now all over Europe. It is designed to send a message to the banksters "We don't trust you!" but it could well, that's the goal, become a panic. Note that banks don't have enough cash (by far) to serve all their customers if they all want to withdraw their money. Expect empty ATMs...

Search the web/facebook for the words "Bankrun" or "Stopbanque", or this website www.bankrun2010.com

Take your cash out of the bank on dec 7... or a couple days before and watch the fun!


Shambhala said...

I have to get another copy of your book. The cats pissed on the first copy (seriously). Yeah, everyone is a critic.

Rodrigo said...

Hi Fernando & all,

Thanks for some of the suggestions, I'll have to check a few of them out.

"Savior" sounds really interesting, as well as "Empire of the Sun". Both seem to be along the lines of what I had in mind for a SHTF movie where the protagonist must learn to cope & survive after he finds his world suddenly & forever changed for the worse. I may have to give "The Road" a view too.

"Clockwork Orange" is a great suggestion - one that I didn't originally consider, but it's a classic representation of a SHTF/dystopian society. The film and book are both personal favorites of mine - especially the book; which delves much more into the themes of social disintegration, use of the hybrid English/Russian gangspeak (a product of Russian cold war propaganda), and all-encompassing government control. A true masterpiece in both literature AND film. A rare achievement indeed.

The GTA games did cross my mind when I was considering SHTF video games. They would definitely fit in with the rampant/increased crime element of a collapsed society, but I guess I would like them better if they would allow you to play as a character who has to survive, live & defend yourself against these thugs, rather than "becoming" one of them. But hey, maybe I am looking at it a bit too seriously. Like Fernando said: "as long as they're fun that's all I ask for!" :-D

Thanks again for the suggestions everyone!

Anonymous said...

Check out the movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon"
I rented it recently. It's a great movie about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. Alic Guinness plays the pope so superbly your hair will stand on end.
The reason I mention this movie though here is because you get to see the ultimate prepper dream houses in the home invasion proof buildings of the village of Assisi.

My home town is South Amherst, Ohio. The sandstone capital of the world. The quarries have been shut down for a couple decades, but they're still there waiting for a new building trend. Sandstone's sort of decently bulletproof. Or, well, at least midevial catapult proof.

russell1200 said...

A neigbhor has been playing fallout 3. It is entertaining, and has a variety of possible scenerios.

It has nothing to do with realistic post apocolyptic (the setting it is within) survival. You get lots of "hit points" and have lots of "healing" items. Change the guns for swords, and the health kits for potions, and you have something that starts to look a lot like Dungeons and Dragons.

Anonymous said...

The history of this sandstone in South Amherst, Ohio is interesting. It was discovered in the early 1800's that this sandstone
made the most superior grinding stones for sharpening knives. Then it morphed later into the largest sandstone building material in the world. It's all still there including the saw mill. Ready to be revved up by someone ambitious.
Hurry, before it becomes a golf course.


Don Williams said...

1) I liked the movie "Le Temp du Loup" ("Time of the Wolf") --

Somehow conveys that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that the Big Daddy who has always taken care of you --i.e, Civilization -- is gone and you are on your own.

2) Another movie I've always wanted to see but haven't yet found was the 1962 movie "Panic in Year Zero"--

Came out three months before the Cuban Missile Crisis --the closest the USA and Soviet Union ever came to nuclear war.

It supposedly has a scene where a family fleeing from a nuked Los Angeles dumps gasoline on the highway and sets it on fire to keep the enormous crowd of refugees behind them from following and overwhelming them. heh heh

Shambhala said...

Anonymous Don Williams said...

I got it from iTunes

Anonymous said...

For themed video games you talk about, try S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl about $10 *there are several later subtitiled releases so make sure it is 'shadow..'* .
gameplay vid->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUqidNb-psM

The game is ok but if you then add a mod such as Oblivion Lost or Stalker Complete (http://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-complete-2009) or SuperModPack (http://www.moddb.com/mods/super-mod-pack) they turn it into an amazing postapocalyptic shooting/exploration game with 100s of guns to play with (everything from Mosin-Nagant to FN 5.7).

There is a bit of scifi in it, but far less than Fallout (which i love too)

Anonymous said...

I support STALKER with the mods too. Some of the most realistic combat mechanics. Only being able to carry a certain amount, first aid in treating injuries. Physical health and endurance. Food. Darkness being a killer. Sleep.

If they only incorporated water into the game that would have made the biggest difference. Water is lifeblood if your on foot and homeless. And weighs a ton.

Anonymous said...

"The Road" is probably the only film I've seen that comes close to reality in a EOTW situation. Most films and video games are based more on fantasy than reality and portray SHTF as times of adventure and excitement, where as in reality, you're dealing with danger, fear, hopelessness, suffering, unpredictability, etc. While it may lead to times of opportunity, if you know how to find it, they won't be times of comfort.

SHTF games don't teach you how to read people or avoid drawing the attention of unsavory characters, i.e perceiving risk. You're probably better off watching videos of shootouts and such, if you really want to see how it happens, usually fast and unexpected. Games are games, not real life.

Blog de Idiomas said...