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The Humans vs. Zombies organization is a newly developed student group bringing the game Humans vs. Zombies to campus. The game is similar to “tag with Nerf guns,” Olivia Smith-Elnaggar, the historian secretary for the organization, said.
The game mimics a zombie apocalypse in which all participants start off as humans, except for the one chosen as the original zombie – a player whose job it is to tag humans. His or her identity is not revealed in the beginning of the game. Those tagged are turned into zombies and can then tag the remaining humans.
The zombies’ goal is to turn all of the humans, while the humans’ goal is to survive until the end of the game, when the entire zombie population starves, or doesn’t “feed” for 36 hours.
“Every Saturday, I call my friends from back home and one day I was talking to my friend who I realized sounded very out of breath on the phone,” Alexis Gorin, president and founder of the organization, said. “I asked him if he was okay and he explained to me, ‘Oh, I’m just running around with a Nerf gun.’ “
Intrigued by the elaborate form of tag, Gorin began to do research about the game. Humans vs. Zombies originated at Goucher College in 2005 and has now spread to over 100 college campuses and is played in England, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
At a meeting in Gelman Library Friday, while other students were busy studying down the hall, the members of Humans vs. Zombies were busy discussing missions, bandanas, Nerf guns and zombie safe spots.
“The main goal of the game is to have fun,” Charles Lee, treasurer of Humans vs. Zombies, said. “Students have all these internships and school work – this serves as a breather from that, free of charge.”
The game will span from March 30 to April 9.
“You can treat it any way you’d like, we know you are busy so you can play at any point throughout that week and a half,” Gorin said.
With everything coming together so quickly, it is not all fun and games for the student organization. The group is running Beta tests – smaller, mock versions of the real event – this week to get a better idea of any kinks that might come up in the game in real time, Gorin explained.
“It is different from what the usual setting is like. We have locals and government officials walking on the street,” Gorin said.
For these reasons, the students are still working on getting the GW Office of Risk Management to approve Nerf guns.
“As of now, we will be using balls of socks,” Gorin said.
Karl Wildermuth, the organization’s secretary, said the group plans on screening classic zombie films in the Marvin Center to raise money for the game. The money raised will be in addition to the $200 the group was allocated by the Student Association.
Sign-up is free and will begin March 13 at gwu.hvzsource.com.
“We hope to have a successful first game this year and wish to have another game in the fall with a more elaborate plot that can continue from year to year,” Gorin said.