By ELIZABETH JOHNSON/Montana State News
The zombie apocalypse will arrive at Montana State University’s campus from April 3 to April 9. TAG, the Tactical Action Gaming club, is hosting a game of Humans vs. Zombies, or HvZ for short.
TAG president Josh Thornton said, “Humans Vs Zombies is a large scale, multi-day Zombie-themed game of tag that takes place over the course of a week all across MSU’s campus.”
Esquire magazine tries to explain the zombie craze, saying, “A zombie war gives the pleasurable illusion of agency over the dead, as if there’s something that can be done about them, as if they are monsters who can be defeated.”
Zombies in HvZ can be defeated, or stunned for 15 mintues, with Nerf blasters, socks and marshmallows. Players who are zombies try to tag humans and turn them into zombies, too.
The game usually starts with two zombies and the rest of the players are human. As humans get tagged by the zombies, they join the zombie side for the rest of the game.
And this is not just an MSU phenomenon.
“Humans vs. Zombies was invented at Goucher College in 2005,” says humansvszombies.org, the game’s official website.
The website also says, “HvZ is played at over 650 colleges and universities across the world, as well as high schools, military bases, summer camps, and public libraries.”
The game is played on most major campuses in the U.S., and on every continent except Antarctica.
Schools host their own games through the official website, where players sign up and are reported to be either humans or zombies throughout the game.MSU has been hosting games for the past four years. TAG normally hosts the game for a few hundred players each semester.
Skylar Downes, a computer science major, says he likes to play the game because he can “run around like a crazy person with a bunch of other awesome people.”
The game runs throughout the week. Gameplay is suspended in classes and in buildings, but resumes once the player goes outside. The game even runs off campus, so players out and about must remain vigilant.
Meeting new people is a major aspect of the game. Downes said, “A lot of people are definitely in it for getting to meet lots of other people who like to do fun things.”
TAG works on organizing evening missions with certain objectives to“provide unique play experiences,” said Thornton. This semester will be the first to be a continuation of last semester’s game, “which ended in zombie victory.”
Showing up at missions provide players the opportunity to play HvZ around dozens of people in the same area at one time. Groups of humans and zombies form to battle their opponents.
“Being on either side of a really, really big horde rush is an experience unlike most things people experience in their lifetimes,” said Downes.
TAG also organizes other dart-tag and laser-tag games throughout the year. They have also been involved with the Fitness Center’s Wellness Fair for two years and this semester’s Cativities.
– Edited by Jacqueline Blackwood