Snared by Worldbuilding

I can't be the only one out there that hates running. It's uncomfortable and usually pretty boring - and on top of that I really don't like to physically push myself. Not like that, anyway. (I'll work up to doing 100 situps in a day, or 100 pushups, just because I can, but running? No thanks.)


So, you might reasonably ask - why am I writing about running, and what does that have to do with worldbuilding? A legitimate question!


This morning, when I was scrolling through Tumblr (not quite as deep a rabbit hole as Wikipedia or TV Tropes, but it's getting there) and I stumbled across this post. You don't have to read it if you don't want to. The gist is this; There's a fandom for a running app. Even better, the fans are worldbuilding culture details around the story the app uses to motivate you to keep going. The app is called Zombies, Run!

Now, after digging and realizing that this wasn't some TV show or book series, but an app they were talking about in that post, I of course had to look it up. Because nothing intrigues me quite like worldbuilding, especially when it's granular and believable. I had already fallen dangerously in love with that worldbuilding, and I was digging myself in deeper by investigating the story.


Turns out there are more than 300 episodes ("missions") to this story, and while the app asks a subscription fee to unlock all of them, it gives access to the first few for free.


And what fun would it be to listen to a story about running from zombies if I wasn't actually, you know... running? I've been walking 3 miles a day anyway, I could make it happen...


That was when I realized that I'd been caught. Snared. Trapped. They had lured me in with worldbuilding and fancy sound effects, and tricked me into running.


Well, jogging, really. 5k (3 miles) in 45 minutes, which is 15 less than it takes me to walk the same distance. And if I keep this up, then I'll get faster, and I can go longer, and....


And I think I just lost that fight I've been having with myself since I was 10. I hate running. But I love being able to run.


See you on the other side, Runner. Don't let the zoms catch you.

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©2020 by Eleanor Taylor.

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