Are apocalypse stories trying to "out-nasty" each other?
I just finished the first nine issues of Garth Ennis's CROSSED, and - without going into detail - it's a pretty grim read.
All the same, I can't help wondering if writers currently working in the industry are in some sort of weird competition to see whose version of the apocalypse is more grisly and "badass" than the other's. If one guy's writing a post-apocalyptic story about cannibalism, the next guy tries to top that by adding rape. The next guy then tries to top rape by adding pedophilia, then bestiality, and so on and so forth.
Normally this wouldn't be that big of a deal for me, but considering we're playing a game about a young girl struggling to survive in the same kind of environment, I sure hope the WD staff hasn't picked up a copy of CROSSED and said to themselves, "Holy shit, we gotta really crank it up if we're going to stay one step ahead of geniuses like Ennis! Let's have Rebecca's child forcibly removed from her womb and eaten by rabid weasels while Alvin is forced to watch!"
I don't think this is about 'good storytelling' so much, as trying to fit in with a more nihilistic-minded zeitgeist.