As nerds, the apocalypse and, more specifically, the post-apocalypse are topics near and dear to our hearts, ones which have been explored in everything from Fallout to Mad Max: Fury Road to Barb Wire (which I mention because it takes place in 2017). However, the looming spectre of the apocalypse has become all too real lately. Turning on the news can paint a dire picture of the world around us. With catastrophic weather systems devastating the globe, deeply discomfiting robots just waiting to rise up and tear us limb from limb, and constant threats of thermonuclear war pouring out 140-to-280 characters at a time, the end of days can feel like an inevitability at times. Naturally, we can’t help but wonder how we would actually fare in an end-of-the-world scenario.
Since we don’t have access to nuclear weapons, we settled for the next best thing: sending our intrepid reporter Jason Nguyen to Wasteland Weekend in California’s Mojave Desert where, for one weekend each year, thousands of people come together to live like they are in a burnt-out, post-apocalyptic hellscape. It’s equal parts cosplay extravaganza, insane auto show, and live-action role-playing experiment — like Burning Man by way of Fury Road.
While in the desert, Jason quickly adapted to the new lawless existence in which he found himself, shedding his civilian identity and becoming the Bone Lord, a nightmarish warlord who wears the bones of his enemies as a fashion accessory. Encountering souped-up battle-cars to recruiting members for his own war clan to surviving a run-in with Immortan Joe and his War Boys, Jason didn’t just get a taste of the post-apocalypse; he got an all-you-can-eat buffet full of shiny, chrome delights.
Have you been to Wasteland Weekend? Share your stories with us in the comments below!