Humans Vs. Zombies: Prepare for the on-campus apocalypse

An avid group of humans preparing for the onslaught of zombies. Photo by Matt Williams.

MSU’s Tactical Action Gaming (TAG) group is starting its newest game of Humans Vs. Zombies (HVZ), a semesterly tradition since spring 2011. Since its debut, approximately 400 people per semester have taken part in the game. Spurred by support from local businesses, TAG hopes to have its biggest turnout to date this semester.

The event is meant to re-create, with less violence, the happenings of a zombie apocalypse. The game starts with two players as Original Zombies (OZs) and the rest as Humans. The rules, simply put, are that the Humans fight off the Zombies with an array of Nerf guns, marshmallows and balled-up socks. However, if a Human is tagged, he or she becomes a Zombie and is then supposed to try and tag other Humans.

All over campus (and sometimes beyond), onlookers will witness enthusiastic participants armed with different weapons of their choosing running away from bandana-clad zombies.

Besides the usual warding off Zombies during walks to and from class, TAG’s Russ Kaufman-Pace has developed a series of planned events to gather as many Humans and Zombies together at the same time as possible.

In previous semesters, such events have included holding a position against the horde of Zombies for a set amount of time, escorting someone to a specific location and grabbing supplies from different places around campus.

This year Kaufman-Pace has promised exciting new missions with engaging storylines. These changes, along with other small ones, are being added to increase both short-term and long-term participation in the game.

“[Humans Vs. Zombies] is really good at bringing people together,” Kaufman-Pace said during TAG’s preparatory HVZ meeting. “It’s a great way to get people out and get people interested.”

On top of the added rules and storylines, this semester HVZ will also include prizes supplied by local businesses. The prizes include gift cards from Ferraro’s Italian restaurant and Rook’s Gaming.

To help support the game and the local businesses, TAG is selling HVZ T-shirts for $10 before the game and $12 afterward.

While the rules for this year’s edition of the game feature only minor changes, TAG has big plans for the future of HVZ. They plan to add achievement points as the game progresses, which will be used to determine overall winners of the game and will give players on both teams specific goals.

This semester’s HVZ starts Thursday, Oct. 4. The first event is at 7 p.m. and can be attended by anyone that registers before then. If interested, potential players can register at any time before midnight on Oct. 4.