May 14, 2013
The Shawnee State University campus was once again caught up in a storm of sweat and Nerf darts as a simulated zombie invasion took hold of the university. From Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14, students and guests alike either fought desperately to "stay alive" or chased after the human flesh they once defended.
Humans vs. Zombies is an internationally played game of tag focused on a storyline in which the dead are returning to life and attacking humans. A plethora of rules dictate how the humans, wielding Nerf weaponry and balled-up socks, interact with the zombies, who must physically tag the humans, in order to increase their numbers.
Games last anywhere from a few hours to entire weeks and are played at military bases, conventions and other locations. Various plot points, missions and props are integrated in order to encourage more active participation.
SSU's incarnation lasts approximately 72 hours. This semester's game featured 160 registered players, 130 of whom ventured out to play and was the sixth-ever game hosted at SSU. By the end of the three-day period, the zombies won a "victory" by tagging all participating humans.
To bring about greater participation and make the event more fun overall, HvZ coordinator Holly Brown and her team of moderators enact a Choose Your Own Adventure-style plot, complete with costumes, characters and missions that affect future missions depending upon who wins.
This semester's plot featured a warlock bent on consuming all humans, an undead archaeologist and frequent (failed) attempts by the humans to construct a radio tower and "cure" the zombies.
For more information about the international phenomenon, visit http://humansvszombies.org.