Corey Bowman remembers when the zombies first went after him.
In 2008, long before he had 1.13 million subscribers to his Call of Duty YouTube channel (where he goes by the moniker Inkslasher), Bowman was a high school student when he beat his first-ever Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: World at War on Xbox 360.
While the game ends its primary story in predictable fashion – with triumphant symphonies and images of valor in World War II – the end credits abruptly drops players into something eldritch and otherworldly. They suddenly see their avatar wake up in an abandoned bunker in a foggy corner of the Pacific, and that’s when the titles appear on screen in blood red typeface: “Nazi Zombies.” The objective now isn’t to win the war, but survive.
“I didn’t know zombies existed in the game,” Bowman remembers about the surprise feature. “You beat the game thinking it’s a normal campaign. All of a sudden, it puts you into Zombies. I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t know it was even part of the game until it popped up.”
Bowman’s lasting impression of the experience were also informed by vivid memories from his childhood of watching George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead while on a family vacation. And despite it only being 2008, it was still a nascent era for social media, particularly YouTube. Bowman points out that it was a time when audiences could still be taken by surprise. “You didn’t have everyone posting everything on Reddit. It wasn’t people on Twitter going, ‘Get ready for zombies!’”
It was also the late 2000s, when zombies rose from the grave as the genre du jour of the time; movies like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, and the Dawn of the Dead remake contributed to pop culture’s zombie outbreak. ARead more on ign.com