Nerf guns and sock-bolas just made it into the list of winter essentials as DSU prepares for a two week game of Humans vs Zombies – the critically acclaimed live action game of tag that has made Hasbro more money than Bruce Willis in GI Joe.
Originally created by Goucher College students Chris Weed and Brad Sappington in 2005, Humans vs Zombies, or HvZ, is now played on over a thousand college campuses spanning six continents! At DSU, the history of HvZ can be traced back to 2009 AD. Only Cody Putzier and Erich Martin, the eldest of the HvZ admins, remember those early days.
Conceptually, HvZ is extremely simple. The players are divided into two teams – the Humans and the Zombies. The goal of the Zombies is to turn all Humans to their side by tagging them and the goal of the Humans is simply to survive the duration of the game. To even out the odds, Humans may use soft projectiles (socks, foam darts, etc.) to temporarily “stun” Zombies. This prevents them from tagging other players for a certain interval of time. But, as any of the admins can tell you it gets a lot more complicated.
Rules must be continuously made, unmade, and remade to accommodate the rather ingenious attempts players make to exploit loopholes. Player arguments have to be settled in a manner that leaves both parties satisfied and new innovative ideas have to be continuously thought up to keep players entertained.
“Insanity” is the word used by the HvZ admins to describe their seemingly never ending workload. Yet, at the same time, they will admit how rewarding the experience can often be. Over the years, 13 games of HvZ have been played on the DSU campus. Each game more elaborate than the previous years. Yet, through the years, the Admins’ concern for player safety has not diminished a single bit. Indeed, even now player safety outweighs everything else in the admins’ books.
The goals of the HvZ admins are to create an extended family of players and dispense as much enjoyment to the DSU community as possible. The ever-growing number of participants can attest to their success.
If you’re participating in the 14th game of HvZ, remember the three essentials of the game: Stay safe, stay warm, and pack extra Nerfpower. As a precaution if you’re not participating this time – Trojan Times advises you not to wear white bandanas on your head for the next seven days. That is all.