Desperate to make it to her next class, she peeks around the corner then takes off. The zombies spot her and give chase. A hail of Nerf darts takes them down and she sprints away. In a rush of relief and exhilaration, she survives... for now.
Such was life at Randolph College during the First Annual Humans vs. Zombies Challenge.
More than 60 students took part in the week-long game trying to survive as humans or thrive as zombies.
"The game brought students together who might not have otherwise never met," said Chris Zielewski, one of the game organizers. "Theatre kids were hanging out with jocks; art majors with physics. Men and women, evens and odds - all working together and having a great time."
About the Game
Humans vs Zombies (HVZ) is played on more than 70 college campuses across the United States.
The game starts with all players on the human "team" wearing flourescent green armbands and one anonymous zombie. When a zombie tags a human, that player becomes a zombie (signified by changing her armband to a headband) who must then try to tag and "turn" humans. Shooting a zombie with a Nerf gun "stuns" them so they are incapable of tagging a human for 15 minutes. If any humans survive the week without being turned, then humans win. If there are no survivors, well then...
The game is restricted to campus with specific "Safe Zones" (classes, dining hall, the Skellar, etc.) where no zombie combat can occur. Zielewski credited the College's Honor Code with keeping the players within bounds. "Not a single social violation, honor code infraction, or judiciary hearing resulted from any player for actions relating to the game," he said.
In the end, seven humans survived: Nick Gentile, Melissa Gilbert, Evan Pai, Sarah Bramhall, Donald Wells, Kendrick Williams,and Liliana Stevens.
After the dust settled, the WWRM radio station sponsored an Apocalypse Party: Radioactive Zombie Rave.
"We thought it was pretty immature at first," said one professor who wished to remain anonymous. "But it was a great way for students to let off steam. Next time, I want to play."
Zielewski and fellow organizers Laura Allan and Nick Gentile are planning a spring semester HVZ game. More than 160 students have already expressed interest in playing.
Randolph HVZ Facebook Group
Humans vs Zombies at Wikipedia
National HVZ Site