Humans vs. Zombies: a new campus craze

A new late-night activity on campus is giving holy socks a second chance.

After months of planning and organization, a game called Humans vs. Zombies was introduced to Bradley last Monday and became the unexpected topic of new gossip.

“It was awesome going to lunch hearing people around me talking about people running around in bandanas,” said pre-engineering major Steven Hall, one of the moderators of the game. “Stuff like that made my day because everyone else is so excited.”

Hall and communication major Steven Crane, both freshmen, put their heads together after watching YouTube clips of the game that took place at other universities.

The game first started at Goucher College in Baltimore, during the fall of 2005 and since then, the game has swept across campuses across the nation.

Both Hall and Crane then decided to begin a game of their own on Bradley’s campus.

“We talked to our resident advisor and he suggested that we should make it a floor activity,” Hall said. “But Steven and I wanted to see how it would work if we introduced it to the whole campus.”

Hall and Crane requested permission from the Student Activities Office to organize the activity as a “Late Night Activity” and received $300 in order to purchase supplies such as bandanas and Nerf guns as well as to pay for flyers.

“At first [Student Activities] was very questionable of our idea, and it took a lot of explaining” Hall said. “But after speaking to them in person they decided to give us a shot.”

Humans vs. Zombies is a weeklong objective game that consists of several missions.

Players who are humans have to complete the missions and the main objective of the zombies is to stop the humans.

The missions of the game were completely original, but were easy to come up with, Crane said. They took plot lines from zombie movies and games and then made it into a real-life game, he said.

“I liked the missions,” said senior finance major Nicholas Rizzo. “It took strategy and required us to go to several locations.”

The game started off with one original zombie. The zombie’s goal was to infect the humans using touch. Once a human has been touched by a zombie, they must change sides and become a zombie.

In order for the humans to protect themselves, they are able to stun zombies with either socks or a Nerf gun.

“I lost a few socks during this game,” said sophomore interactive media major Daniel Thompson. “People would pick them up after you threw them making it really hard to find your own sock again.”

Once a zombie has been stunned, they are unable to infect anyone for a total of 10 minutes. If a zombie is unable to infect a human within 48 hours, they die and are disqualified from the game.

The stunning and infecting of zombies and humans takes place 24 hours during the playing week, but is only allowed outdoors. Therefore, the safe zones are inside of any building on campus, Hall said.

Players are required to wear bandanas while they are outside to signify that they are part of the game.

“It was funny,” Hall said. “Some players would go to classes with socks falling out of their hoodies so that they would be ready to play as soon as they got outside.”

The month and a half that the team spent planning the game proved to be a great success.

“We had planned for about 20 to 30 students to participate, and we had a turnout of about 45 to 55 people who played,” Hall said. “After we had already started the game I received around 150 e-mails from people asking if they could still participate.”

The game ended Friday evening, and students are already asking when another game will be started, Hall said.

He said they plan to organize another game next semester and expect around 200 students to take part.

“It was put together really well and it was a lot of fun,” Thompson said. “I would do it again.”

Because of the large number of students that are interested, they are planning to ask Student Activities for more funding and will be setting up a Facebook page, in addition to the current Web site in order to keep players updated, Hall said.

“I’m really happy with the way that it turned out,” he said. “I didn’t plan on it being such a hit, but I’m excited.”