What do you think happens to the consciousness of a person who is infected? Are they even concious of their behavior once they become runners? To me, it seems like they are concious and aware of their actions, but are driven by irresitable impulse to attack others and spread the infection. Almost like someone with Tourette syndrome, for whom tension builds to such an uncomfortable level that they are compelled to move or vocalize; they are aware of the tics, and most likely wish they did not have to do them to relieve anxiety, but they do it anyways - it is impossible to resist. It would be truly horrible.
I'm thinking that over time, as the fungus gains a more powerful grasp of the person, their conciousness begins to change and adapt. Higher executive functions that we associate with "humanity", such as reasoning, morality, and ability to restrain oneself from acting on every impulse, would slowly fade away as fungal tissue destroyed or replaced brain matter. However, the ability to hunt, perceive, and even ambush sticks around. At some point, the infected cross a line where you could really no longer call them human - at this point, I wonder whether they experience coniousness anymore. it certainly would be totally different if they did - more akin to an animal's behavior and "conciousness", if you could even say animals experience conciousness. More just acting on instinct.
What do you guys think? I wonder what it would feel like to slowly turn after being bitten - what the sensation would be, and when would you lose control?
I think what they experience is like dreaming. Just like you can't control your actions in a dream (unless you are lucid dreaming), they just can't control themselves in real-life.
Late edit: Also the turning would probably feel like falling asleep or something.
I have acquired the grade of Master in The Last of Us story/character/game knowledge as I have played it through 9 times.
... I have no life.
Hallucinations maybe. And then hours later you lose consciousness. Wake up with fits of rage and try to spread the parasite.
have you ever just sat there listening to an infected runner? They are going through convulsions, like when you're going to throw up and there's nothing you can do to stop it. It sounds incredibly painful, as if they are trying to resist the infection. In the first run in (right outside the wall) with the infected, if you sit there and listen to the two runners eating their friend, you can hear the female one cry out in horror as she is devouring his body. As if, she knows what she's doing, but can't do anything to stop the impulse to do it.
Honestly I get the chills listening to runners, and stalkers sound very similar. I think the crossing between stalker to clicker is where the "human" in them is finally gone. But I believe that runners to stalkers are very much conscious of their actions. It must be terrifying.
Runners and stalkers are definitely awake... and they do not enjoy it one bit.
I would say the human that reached the infection levels of Clickers and Bloaters are "asleep"