HUMANS vs. ZOMBIES

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By Becca Seel

The humans snuck stealthily into Jackson’s Gardens, loaded down with a bevy of Nerf guns. Much to their horror, the zombies had already found them. The undead fanned out uncertainly, eyeing the weaponry uneasily, hoping to sneak up and pounce upon their living prey. The humans’ quest which led them to such a precarious position, one that would lead to a last stand? A box of Twinkies.

So it went with this fall’s installment of the popular game Humans v. Zombies. Minutes before, humans and zombies alike gathered in front of the library to learn of the night’s mission. When told that the first stage of the mission was to find Twinkies “or perish,” the zombies let out a raucous cry. (The fascination with Twinkies, as I found out from one of the Undead, was from the zombie movie “Zombieland,” an inside joke many of them had been laughing over for the week.) I learned that besides the hallowed Twinkies, “snowballs” (rolled-up white socks) and the biggest and baddest Nerf guns were also prized possessions during the week of HvZ.

Stage Two of the mission was one of the most epic things I have ever seen in my life. In the Fieldhouse, large mats were set up to create a barrier; behind them, the humans circled around dozens of Nerf guns of varying size and lethality. Stage Two was an all-out assault. The simple yet genius plan was to have the zombies rush from one end of the fieldhouse full-tilt at the humans’ last stand, trying to vault over the barriers to launch themselves at the remaining manflesh. Zombies began a lusty chorus of Jonathan Coulton’s “All We Want to Do is Eat Your Brains” as they milled at one side of the fieldhouse. Also, calls of “What Do We Want? (Brains!) When Do We Want Them? (Now!).”

A signal was given, then…total mayhem. Tides of zombies crashed against a sea of Nerf darts. The zombies quickly learned to form into a mass and attack in a series of charges, many breaking at the barrier but some jumping on or flying over it before being riddled by a volley of darts.

At the end of the game, “Zombie Jesus/Zombie Lord/General Zombie Christ” Danny Barringer ‘11 called the players together with “Everybody! Zombies! Humans!” before thanking everyone for a great game. In the end, the humans prevailed, gaining what was dubbed “a minor victory despite overwhelming odds.”

I spoke with Catherine Elliott ’12, the “Original Zombie” (OZ) who had racked up significantly more kills than other players. Her strategy? For the past week she feasted off of sorority pledges, easy to “pick off,” and many of whom weren’t too distraught at having their metaphorical brains eaten.

Elliott insists that despite the popular qualm of “having too much work to do,” HvZ was “a relief…an escapism,” with Mexican standoffs, hunting, and “new and interesting ways to class.” Elliott also mentioned the popular and infamous “stagger attack,” used earlier that day in front of Reamer, where a horde stumbles towards comically outnumbered humans.

“The more people that got involved, the more fun it would be to play,” insists Elliott. “We know we’re geeks. We aren’t afraid to be kids and have a playful side. People are too serious, too adult.”

As I talked to the many players of this most weird and awesome game, I repeatedly heard how much fun they had, how many friends they had made, and how highly they recommended everyone to play. And as Barringer says, “I mean, really, how can you turn down a game that is called ‘Humans vs. Zombies’?”

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