Zombies to Overtake Campus

By Charlotte Volpe ([email protected])

Starting next semester, students are planning to play a game of Humans versus Zombies on the Allegheny campus.

Humans Versus Zombies, or HvZ, started on the campus of Goucher College in Towson, Md. in 2005. It is essentially a large game of tag, which pits a team of humans against a team of zombies. There is one zombie at the beginning of the game, but the number grows as more humans are tagged.

Humans must wear a white bandana or piece of cloth on their arm or leg and are armed either with Nerf guns or balled-up socks, and zombies must wear a red bandana on their head and must physically tag humans.

If a human hits a zombie with a Nerf dart or a sock, the zombie is stunned and cannot interact with the game for five minutes, and if a zombie tags a human by touching them, the zombie must report the tag to a moderator within three hours, and the human has one hour to begin wearing a red bandana.

The Allegheny chapter is being headed by Eric Stacey, ’12, and Grant Thomas, ’13. Thomas said that he and some of his friends had been having Nerf wars in Ravine-Narvik Hall when the idea was conceived, but he and Stacey could not agree on which of them first suggested a HvZ game.

“Some ghosts came and told us in the ear that this was supposed to happen, and then Eric said, ‘Oh, I’ll go set up the server,’” Thomas said.

Thomas and Stacey got approval shortly before Thanksgiving break after conferring with representatives from the Office of Safety and Security as well as the Dean of Students.

Stacey, Thomas, David Levine, ’13, Mike Shayne, ’10, and Mike Palombi, ’13 are the five moderators in charge of overseeing the game and enforcing rules. Stacey said that in the interest of safety, BB guns, pellet guns, Airsoft guns, paintball guns, and Nerf guns with CO2 modifiers are banned from the game, and that anyone caught using them will be kicked out and reported.

In an attempt to not disrupt academic work and respect the privacy and safety of players as well as non-participants, dorm rooms, Pelletier Library, Grounds for Change, Brooks Dining Hall, and McKinley’s Food Court are designated as “safe areas” where players cannot be tagged. Additionally, all dormitories and academic buildings are off-limits during class hours.

“It’s supposed to be fun, but at the same time, it’s not supposed to interfere with class,” Stacey said.

Student response so far to this new phenomenon has been positive for the most part.

“I’m really looking forward to running around like a crazy person, trying not to get eaten by zombies,” said Zach Weber, ’10.

Test missions are being run during what is left of the first semester, with the official game scheduled to start on the first day of classes for the spring 2010 semester. Interested students should join the Facebook group “Allegheny College HvZ”.