Taking Nerf guns to new level

Student players. Photo credit: Emily Miller

Emily Miller | Reporter
April 29,2016; 4 p.m.

Lindenwood University hosts another year for the popular campus event known as Humans Vs. Zombies.

Lontreal Farmer getting into character
Lontreal Farmer getting into character

The game of Humans Vs. Zombies is a game of tag but with a bit of a twist. All players begin as humans, and one is randomly chosen to be the “Original Zombie.”

Human in gear. Photo credit: Emily Miller
Human in gear. Photo credit: Emily Miller

The Original Zombie tags human players and turns them into zombies. Zombies must then tag a human, who then will join their side. Every night there is a mission to complete for both the Human and Zombie side.

Kayla Wood who is the president of the Nerf Alliance club on campus explains that it is extremely popular with Lindenwood students.

“HVZ is one of the most involved events that I have seen and participated in on campus. It goes for about a week long and there is always something to do. The players that play this game are really great. We have a really good atmosphere, player culture, everyone wants to have fun,” said Wood.

For students who also participate in the game they sign in to the website called HvZ Source to keep track of how many hours they have stayed alive.

Type of Nerf gun students use in the game.  Photo credit: Emily Miller
Type of Nerf gun students use in the game.
Photo credit: Emily Miller

Freshman, Samantha Smith explains on how she got involved with the game.

“When I came for my tour I saw some kids playing and thought ‘that’s super cool’ and ‘I want to get to know those people’ and when I did it’s a really diverse group of people and that is what I like most,” said Smith.

Every game of Humans Vs Zombies is different as the rule makers called moderators. Moderators  are “game designers, rule makers, the referees, add in all the flavor or story, generally there to make a game that everyone will have fun in and to make things fair,” said Wood.

Morgan Albertson, who is a moderator explains more on what the game entails.

The original zombie’s role is to pretend to be human for first day to get the zombie hoard started. They pretend to be humans while tagging people.

Human’s bandannas on biceps are hunted by zombies. Humans fire darts and throw rolled up socks and stun them to keep out of play.

Rolled up socks to stun Zombies. Photo credit: Emily Miller
Rolled up socks to stun Zombies. Photo credit: Emily Miller
Human Bandanna. Photo Credit: Emily Miller
Human Bandanna.
Photo Credit: Emily Miller

The goal for the week for humans is to survive by not being tagged and for the zombies turn the entire campus into zombies.

Zombies are the ones who wear bandannas on their foreheads. They then tag humans with their hands.

The original chant throughout the game for zombies is to chant “one of us, one of us” whenever someone gets tagged.

“Running HVZ is one of the highlight of my year and seeing people come together and work towards common goals. The teamwork and friendships that form when we put objectives in front of them,” said Albertson.

Brooke Phillips who is a freshman moderator explains on further details for next semester.

Zombie Bandanna. Photo credit: Emily Miller
Zombie Bandanna. Photo credit: Emily Miller

“It was fun to see what all 9 of us can do and it was cool to see from what we have designed from a general concept to a polished result. We already have ideas that we are rolling with for next year and building up on them for next semester,” said Phillips.

The theme this year is the players are on a spaceship to Mars which has become inhabitable so they are living on a space ship (Lindenwood University). Then there are droids who are not working properly. So people are becoming susceptible to this plague that is turning them into a “sickly person.” Their job as residents on the space ship is to keep droids working to mars and not spread and kill everyone on the ship.

For organizing the game,the moderators survey at end of each semester’s game to see what players want. Then they start planning 3 to 6 months before game starts. They then meet at end of January and have weekly meetings that past month to get everything planned.

“Typically it starts on the first meeting people just submit their ideas. Then we narrow it down,” said Wood.

In fall game 100 players or more registered and 70 active at all times. Spring smaller 60-70 and 40-50 active students playing.

“More of our core players and allows mods to be more extravagant with our design of game,” said Wood.

Alyssa Spiess, who has been playing for four semesters says she the feeling when she plays is a definite stress reliever.

“Exhilarating and being able to go out and have fun. And we have such a great group that is so welcoming,” said Spiess.

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