This year, some Concord University students are taking part in a new activity. Humans vs. Zombies, a game recently popular among college students, has finally come to the Campus Beautiful.
Humans vs. Zombies got its glorious start in 2005 at Maryland’s Goucher College. HvZ is somewhat like a giant game of tag. Main website Humans vs Zombies explains the basic rules: “All players begin as humans, and one is randomly chosen to be the “Original Zombie.” The Original Zombie tags human players and turns them into zombies. The zombies must tag and “feed” on a human every 48 hours or he starves to death and is out of the game.” The concept of the game is simple. One team tries to defeat the other. The humans win if they can starve all the zombies. The zombies win if all the humans are eliminated.
All players must be identified. Humans are required to wear bandanas on their arms or legs and zombies must wear headbands. This helps keep the general public out of the game. Humans can use foam dart guns or rolled up socks (projectiles) to stun zombies for 15 minutes. Weapons must not be realistic looking and cannot be used or visible inside academic buildings. Also, darts used in guns must be soft and cannot hurt on impact. Non-players cannot interfere with the game, and players cannot shoot at non-players.
So how did HvZ make it to CU? Students Drew Miller and Nathan Sturniolo decided to start the game after one of Miller’s friends at Marshall University told him about the game. Over 90 of Concord’s 2374 full time students showed up at the first interest meeting. The first round went over successfully, and many minor issues were fixed.
Sign ups for round two recently closed, with 67 students registering and many others inquiring after registration had already closed. This time, unlike the first, there was a $2 entrance fee. Miller explains, “We decided to join forces with CKI to help us turn this game into a fund raising machine. We decided to fundraise because of the opposition we started feeling from those who were not playing, some from SGA and some from Housing. We had a two dollar admission fee and gave it all to Brain Cancer Research, A Healthy Brain is a tasty Brain.” CKI is the Circle K Initiative. SGA refers to the Concord Student Government Association.
Many students and observers have positive things to say about HvZ on campus. Former CU student Robert A. Brewster comments, “I think it’s a great team exercise, and it seems to pull in a lot of people who aren’t interested in other campus organizations for whatever reason, drawing out the shut-ins if you will. It’s very different then LARPs and really seems to be more about tactics and fore planning.”
CU Freshman Kaitlin Brown also gives the game a thumbs up. “I don’t mind it, I especially like it now that there is a fee to play and it goes to brain cancer research. Some people say it’s annoying and they have come close to getting mobbed but they are just dramatic. They have identification for a reason, I say play on…”
Just for clarification, the HvZ website very clearly states that, “Blasting non-players with darts is a bannable offense.”
As of now, anyone who wants to play and follows the rules is welcome to play. The game is not exclusive to any one group and apparently isn’t going to be any time soon. Miller explains: “…many people have come to me wanting to see a club (some even mentioned a CO-ed fraternity) formed to play games like HvZ… My main goal with this game is to see all the Greeks and Non-Greeks working together as they should with this game, as we all do when we are hunting down humans or running from zombies.” One of the beautiful things about the game is that it’s not something that you need to put a lot of time into playing. Unlike most college sports and organizations, the game doesn’t necessitate mandatory practices or meetings and doesn’t interfere with classes, which makes it much more accessible to busy students.
Like the many other games, organizations, and clubs on campus, Human vs. Zombies is a colorful addition to the Concord family. We hope it continues to give students a break from their oft monotonous schedules for many a semester to come.
Here are a few interesting links that I found on HvZ’s homepage.
Find an HvZ game near you, thanks to Humans vs. Zombie’s convenient game map! Click Here.
Video: HvZ on Stephen Colbert’s ThreatDown. Click Here.
Humans vs. Zombies website
Concord’s Humans vs. Zombies page
Concord University Headcount
Special thanks to the following Humans:
Robert Allen Brewster