A gaming phenomenon that has numerous people on campus talking, Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game played world-wide consisting of more than just two teams that run around and shoot each other with Nerf guns, according to sophomore political science and creative writing major Aristotle Piso.
“We have athletes, fraternity and sorority members, ROTC members and many more that are involved with HvZ,” Piso said. “So it’s not just your stereotypical nerds that are involved, we have a wide variety of people that come together for one purpose and that is to have fun and meet new people.”
As one of the moderators for the game and also the vice president of the Urban Gaming Club, Piso, 21, stressed that being a moderator is not only fun, but it’s also very time consuming and hard work.
“As a moderator, you can’t play the game, since you write the story lines and come up with missions, you don’t want to be bias to one team or another,” Piso said. “We keep growing each semester, having almost 100 players now. We’re expected to have one half as many players next semester. When you have all of these people texting you and asking you questions about the game, it can become very time consuming.”
Elaborating more on what the game is all about, John Groom, a sophomore secondary education English and Spanish major, explained that there is a very organized system in place for HvZ.
“We have a website that players register on, sruHvZ.co.nr, and they get their own code, and once a human gets tagged by a zombie, they give the zombie their code and they enter it on the website, changing that human into a zombie,” Groom said. “It also feeds the zombies, because after 48 hours, it kills the zombies and they can’t enter that code any longer.”
Groom, 19, explained the rules more in depth and the meaning of the missions that are done during the game.
“If a human is tagged by a zombie, we know that they turn into a zombie, but if a zombie is tagged by a human, the rules change,” Groom said. “The zombie that is tagged is stunned for a predetermined amount of time. Here, we do 15 minutes, so that way you can stun them and go off to your class. A mission, however, is a story line objective that progresses the game and at the end of the game, the final mission is essentially the combination of the entire story line that determines if the humans win or lose.”
Being completely aware of the negative attention that HvZ gets on campus, Groom said it’s nothing to take too seriously.
“What some people do in our group, which I’m not an advocate for, is they’ll go back and attack the people who are attacking us, verbally through email, Twitter and Facebook,” Groom sighed. “To me, that’s not the right way to go about it. I think the best way to go about it is to continue the game and keep playing. We’re out to have fun, they’re doing their own things to have fun. Just because they disagree with what we’re doing, doesn’t mean we have to stoop to their level of criticism.”
Most of the negative comments and arguments about HvZ mostly take place on social networks, like Twitter and Facebook. Twitter, one of the most commonly used social networks around SRU’s campus, gets most of the attention from people who disagree with the game.
One of the accounts on Twitter that openly bashes the people involved in HvZ is @SRUproblems. One of their tweets, for example, said, “Breaking news: Zombie being held hostage in Starbucks broom closet, humans are asking for a social life.” Some other students have very strong negative opinions about the game as well, and at times choose to display it on social media.
Piso, 21, said he thinks it’s funny that people sit around and talk negatively about HvZ on social networks, but he does understand why people do laugh at the game.
“I just brush the negativity off, but I do realize that we make ourselves a target, since we’re running around campus with a Nerf blaster,” Piso said. “We all understand that it looks silly, but adults play on flag football leagues and softball leagues. We’re just playing a different kind of game that not everyone is used to, so they shut it down. I find it interesting that some people are against it, then they go home and play Call of Duty and other video games. It’s not that much different from Call of Duty, except we’re actually being active. Instead of going to the ARC and running on a machine, we’re running outside and having fun with our friends, and that’s what it’s all about.”