Humans vs. Zombies, hosted by the Urban Gaming Club, kicked off their opening ceremony Sunday night. The group had a mandatory rules and safety meeting, proclaiming their number one rule to the game: “don’t be a douchebag.”
The moderators are in charge of enforcing the rules of the game and wear a white bandana to denote their position. Jeff Lanzer, one on the moderators of the game, said the number one rule was put in place to cover a lot of the gray area of HvZ.
“The rule refers to shady game play — if a player does something that isn’t technically against the rules, but isn’t the most fair. All of that falls under the ‘don’t be a douchebag’ rule,” Lanzer said.
The storyline starts with the outbreak of a contagion that turns humans into zombies. However, zombie players are the main way human players turn into zombies.
In an attempt to ward off the zombies, humans may be equipped with Nerf blasters, rolled up socks and blow darts.
Game play is not allowed indoors; but once outside, it’s every human for himself, as zombies can tag a human five steps outside of the door.
This year, 144 students signed up to participate in this intricate week long game of tag across campus.
“Last year we had 120 players. We hope to continue increasing the number of participants every year,” Lanzer said.
Joe Wilson, another moderator in the game, played last year also and said he likes it because it adds some spice to the typical day.
“Not only do you have to make it to class on time, you also have to fight off zombies and survive,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he hopes to survive the entire week as a human.
“I was turned into a zombie on the final mission last year. It sucked to make it that far and not survive the infection. I’m more prepared this year,” Wilson said.
The game is played from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and includes optional missions throughout the week. Players wear an orange bandana either around their head or forearm depending on whether the player is a zombie or a human.
Michael Thomas, President of the UGC, said that the game is designed to be flexible depending on the humans-to-zombies ratio.
“Mission zero was played on Sunday and resulted in more humans being tagged and turned into zombies than we expected. In order to keep the game going, the surviving humans were given a bonus and the following mission was made slightly easier for them to complete,” Thomas said.
Thomas said that the enthusiasm of players this year will help the event to continue each semester.
“A lot of players are stepping up in order to fill the gaps that are going to be left when the older players graduate,” Thomas said.
One such player is Kelsey Davis. She is participating in the game for a second year in a row and said that her favorite part of the game is the night missions.
“This year we have a little more free rein on how we complete the missions instead of having to take a specific route, which I think is going to make the game more interesting,” Davis said.
Davis did not survive last year’s game, falling to the infection early in the week.
“All the humans had to pass through a very narrow bottleneck during one of the missions. It was a massacre. Only a handful of humans made it through, and the rest of us were turned,” Davis said.
Nick Uroseva, co-founder of the Urban Gaming Club at YSU, said players can be as active as they chose to be.
“Players can participate in missions or just try to survive while walking to class. It all depends on how involved they want to be,” Uroseva said.
Uroseva also said that taking part in the missions may result in an advantage for the winning team.
“The humans successfully completed Monday’s mission, which started with a scavenger hunt around campus. It ended with the humans having to creating a perimeter around a checkpoint and defending it for 10 minutes,” Uroseva said.
Humans who played were given an antidote card, which they could use to remain human if a zombie tagged them. In addition, zombies had to tag a human on the arm that their bandana was worn as opposed to tagging them anywhere on their body.
The game concludes on Friday night with the completion of the final mission. The Urban Gaming Club is planning their next event, which will be a daylong event around Halloween.