Their bandanas are tied, their foam Nerf dart blasters are loaded and their sock bombs are ready to stun. The Walking Dead of SRU have infected vigilant students. But who will become limping zombie food as the dawn of the dead rise? It’s zombie killing time.
SRU’s annual campus-wide Humans vs. Zombies live action roleplaying game commenced April 1, and it was no joke.
The game is a moderated version of the traditional game ‘tag’ where one individual is selected as the zombie to infect the remaining human players. The game can end one of two ways. The zombies win if all of the human players have been tagged and turned into zombies. The humans win if they survive long enough to starve a zombie, or they win their final mission.
Senior secondary education English major and president of the Gamer’s Guild, Brandon Riggs, 24, said he loves playing and moderating Humans vs. Zombies but isn’t a fan of the heckling from the SRU Twitter community on SRUProblemz.
“I have seen our players tagged in pictures on Twitter countless times,” Riggs said. “I wish the stigma from the outside wasn’t so heavy. It’s lots of fun and contrary to popular belief it’s lots of exercise.”
Sure enough a post on SRUProblemz from March 3 said, “We allllll knew that once the sun came back the Nerf guns would come with it, but I’ll take the sun any day.”
Another more recent post came while the game was underway on April 3. An anonymous student on SRUProblemz tweeted “At least this snow is keeping the humans vs. zombies shit at bay.”
Riggs said he tries to shrug off the haters and enjoy the game with friends.
“Try it for one semester and see if you like it before you knock it,” Riggs said.
He said he would like to see the Gamer’s Guild play more live action games in the future such as By the Light of the Moon, a game involving students pretending to morph into werewolves.
Senior literature major John Groom, 21, president of the Urban Gamer’s Guild, the Gamer’s Guild sister group which hosts the Humans vs. Zombies game, said he was excited to moderate this semester’s magic-based Humans vs. Zombies game.
“Normally during missions we tell players there are parts of campus that have been bombed because we had military themes in the past,” Groom said. “But now we could say places were magically shielded and people had to use their imagination, so that was fun.”
Groom said the game demonstrated players’ good sportsmanship and there were creations of new friendships.
“I like watching people coming together,” Groom said. “They’re running around and getting exercise. People also get pretty competitive.”
Groom said he remembers a time playing Humans vs. Zombies with his roommate and watching him run into a pole. So players can tend to get very into the game, he added.
Junior creative writing major and vice president of the Urban Gamer’s Guild, Carrie Mae Hanrahan, 20, said this year was unprecedented when it came to how the game played out.
“For the first year, there was a draw declared,” Hanrahan said. “Normally the humans eradicate the whole zombie horde, or the zombies successfully turn all remaining humans. This year, two zombies eluded the Nerf blasters of the remaining humans. By the time the final mission ended, it was clear that neither side had met the conditions traditionally used for winning. Everyone had fun and played their hearts out, so the moderators called this game a draw!”
The games came to a close Wednesday night but Hanrahan said she enjoyed playing this year along with a few laughs.
“A human player threw a cup of fresh coffee on the ground to battle the horde,” Hanrahan said. “He was still caught and tagged. But he did not buy another cup.”
The groups assured before laughing at the game, students should consider gathering up some Nerf ammo and clean, balled up socks and joining in on the zombie action.