UNCG is amid a zombie apocalypse with the return of the highly anticipated Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ), a 24/7 game of tag that transports students into an alternate reality of magical creatures, secret missions and a whole lot of fun.
Since the game officially started on Monday, the campus has transformed into a massive playground, with bandana-clad “humans” and “zombies” running, jumping and climbing across campus.
The game is simple: zombies are trying to overtake the human race, and humans are fighting for preservation. Humans become part of the walking dead when they are tagged – with one or two hands – by a zombie. To defend themselves, humans can “stun” zombies with a Nerf launcher, Nerf blaster or rolled-up socks.
Over the course of the next seven days, the nearly 100 UNCG students participating will take part in a number of missions with different story lines and various rules. All missions lead up to the final battle between humans and zombies, in which the zombies almost always come out on top.
While the game may seem like a free-for-all, HvZ is an organized, regulated event held at college campuses across the country, including Penn State, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Florida. UNCG’s game in particular has gone through a meticulous planning process. Andrew Raines, a senior music education major and one of the moderators behind this semester’s event, started planning the game with his fellow moderators back in June.
“We held several Skype and in-person meetings over the summer to discuss our vision for the game and potential story lines,” Raines said. “We’ve been working very closely with the Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life and UNCG Police to ensure a safe, fun environment for everyone.”
For the first time in UNCG history, HvZ is hosting an open-play indoor event at the Student Recreation Center on Friday, Oct. 30, from 9 p.m. to midnight. All students are welcome to participate regardless of whether they registered for the 10-day game, and everyone on campus is invited to come watch what is expected to be a thrilling event.
“The indoor mission has been a hope and dream of mine for several years,” Raines said. “We’re really excited to see it all come together.”
For Amber Handy, a junior international global studies major and game moderator, HvZ isn’t just about the competition – it’s about meeting new people, making friends and building a community on campus.
“I’ve met a lot of my good friends through HvZ,” she said. “The missions force you to learn how to effectively communicate and find a sense of unity. The game brings people together.”
Raines started playing his freshman year and never looked back.
“It’s such a unique opportunity. There’s nothing else like it on campus,” he said. “HvZ is a really diverse group. It’s a safe environment for people to be themselves.”
HvZ is played at UNCG once a semester and is open to all students who attend a rules meeting, register through the HvZ Source website and sign a liability waiver. All UNCG students, faculty and staff are encouraged to watch the missions unfold throughout the week. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations
Photography by Chris Snow, Photography Intern, University Relations