When strolling down the streets on UNCG’s campus, people are bound to see any number of things. Some of these sightings may be buildings, food trucks or perhaps a group of people with orange bandanas and nerf “blasters,” having the time of their lives playing the campus-wide game, known as Humans versus Zombies.
According to Humansvszombies.org, “Humans vs. Zombies is a game of tag played at schools, camps, neighborhoods, libraries and conventions around the world. Since beginning at Goucher College in 2005, Humans vs. Zombies has developed an international fanbase.” The first official game of Humans vs. Zombies on UNCG’s campus was in the fall semester of 2009.
A little less than a decade later, this week marks the first official game of Humans versus Vampires on UNCG’s campus. Game coordinators, Antoinette Weaver and Heather McElravy, oversee the event this semester and encourage anyone interested to join.
Weaver, like many students, initially rejected the idea of playing the game due to the notion of it being for people that are weird. “I started 2 years ago. I remember going downstairs at the caf and seeing the people who play and thinking, ‘wow what a bunch of weirdos.’ Finally, some of the friends I made who had been playing the game got me into it, and it ended up being one of the coolest things that I have ever done on campus,” said Weaver.
What distinguishes Humans versus Vampires from other on-campus events, McElravy explained, is that it is one of the few free things on campus that does not require a participant to be a member of the school. According to McElravy, non-students are allowed to participate “As long as they’re over 18 because they have to have a waiver.”
The goal of the game is simple. According to Weaver, the “human goal is to survive until the end of the week. The zombies, or in this case, vampires, win by infecting all humans.” Unfortunately, for any uninfected human reading this article, “Humans, technically, have never won the game.”
While the odds of winning are not stacked equally, it seems as though once a person plays, they can’t help but come back. This holds true for UNCG alumni, Austin Dennis. “I’ve been coming back for the last three years after graduating, so it’s a lot of fun and I’ve made a lot of friends through it,” he said.
Dennis, however, prefers to embrace his inner monster and become a vampire, in the past, zombie, because “you don’t have to carry around as much stuff like a nerf blaster and there are calls to charge humans, which is really fun.”
The aspect of immersing oneself in a different type of reality is another driving factor for what gets people invested in this game. An avid player, Chris Diaz, relayed how a game, “usually starts with everybody as a human,” with one secret person to start off the infection. “You can’t even trust your friends,” said Diaz.
This immersion, Diaz said, works to separate this game from others; “The fun thing is going to classes and thinking, ‘hey I can’t die while I’m out here.’”
This thrill, according to McElravy, is not diminished by the lengthy nature of the action.
“[Any typical game] is 24/7 for seven to 10 days, with 50 or more people.” She even joked about how some humans “hide in [their] rooms the whole day” to refrain from getting caught.
While some time has passed since its beginning on April 6, it is not too late for anyone interested in joining the game. The event does not stop end until April 13, and all someone must do to join is go to hvzsoure.com/uncGreensboro to register for the game.
For those that scoff at the concept of Humans versus Vampires or Humans versus Zombies, Weaver would like to impart, “If you ever see us under the caf again and think, ‘wow those are a big group of weirdos.’ Don’t be like me. I wish I had joined this game sooner and we are not just nerds. We have athletes, the quote on quote cool kids and all types of people. Don’t be like me, just get involved.”