Humans vs. Zombies turns campus into an apocalypse

by Kat Dzelme | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

Humans vs. Zombies is a campus event that is organized by the UIndy Gamers Club every semester. In previous years it was a week-long event, but this semester it became a weekend event. Registration was on Friday Sept. 26, and the first mission starting at 9 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 27, there were three missions—one at 12 p.m., another at 4:30 p.m. and the last at 9 p.m. The final mission took place at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28. Missions are challenges with stories that moderators create to pit the two teams against each other, but the players can be tagged and turned into zombies any time during the three-day event, with the exception of the grace periods after each mission. All of the rules can be viewed at http://hvzsource.com/uindy/rules/.

“We decided to try a weekend event because we always hear from people, ‘I can’t because I have homework to do or a test in the morning,’” said HvZ organizer and junior athletic training major Robert Wyatt. “We saw a surplus of people compared to past numbers, especially in female participants.”

Sophomore nursing major Levi Ward was awarded the Best Human winner.

“The week-long event was more intense; there was more of that paranoia as you went to class,” he said. “But it was nice to not have to worry about classes on the weekend event.”

After playing the regular Humans vs. Zombies theme for a time, game moderators decided to write stories for the missions that go with a theme that is determined. This semester’s theme was the “Batman” comic universe. The zombies were victims of the Joker’s laughing gas and humans were the Gotham Indy Police Department. Moderators also played the part of several Gotham VIPs such as the Joker, Commissioner Gordon, The Penguin, The Riddler, Bane, Robin and Batgirl.

Humans vs. Zombies participants dress up as villains and heroes from the “Batman” comic universe. HvZ started on Sept. 27 and was a weekend long event. Photo by Kat Dzelme

Humans vs. Zombies participants dress up as villains and heroes from the “Batman” comic universe. HvZ started on Sept. 27 and was a weekend long event. Photo by Kat Dzelme

“The whole goal is to have fun,” Wyatt said. “Some people think that if they become a zombie, they [have] lost and the game is over for them, but that isn’t true. The game is fun on both sides.”

Wyatt demonstrated this by donning the famous green hair and grin as the Joker, while leading his minions into battle. During the first mission, Wyatt played a bank hostage, until he was revealed to be the Joker at the end of the mission.

Sophomore criminal justice major Justin Halaska was this semester’s original zombie. This means that he was chosen to be the first zombie who could carry Nerf guns and appear human to infect others on the first day.

“I loved betraying people,” Halaska said.

He also was awarded Best Zombie for his success the first day of the event with his “fake escort” technique , in which he asked people to escort him between buildings so he did not get tagged and then tagged them when they were out of the safe zone.

The UIndy Gamers use a site called HVZ Source to send out mass emails to people on both teams. Mission info, who tagged whom and other stats are tracked through individual profiles for which players sign up at or before registration.

As for tips for beginners, Halaska said he valued people’s trusting nature and used that.

“If you’re a zombie, make people trust you, and be stealthy,” he said.

Wyatt emphasized comfort and movability during the event.

“Trust no one, travel in packs and make sure you have a gun that is compact enough to store with ease when you are inside buildings,” he said.

Those who wish to participate in the next HvZ event on campus, can watch for the posters with dates next semester, but people can create a profile at http://hvzsource.com.

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