It is survival week on campus with the semesterly game of Humans vs. Zombies. Don’t be alarmed to see balled up socks and a sudden throwback trend of bandanas between Feb. 7-10.
Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a free simulated zombie apocalypse game that is conducted on college campuses nationwide. The USF organization is about to surpass its 10 year anniversary.
Leonard Genco, president of HvZ, said the club serves as an opportunity to give back to the students to relieve stress.
“Most students don’t have a chance to have an adventure,” Genco said. “Anyone from any background has the chance to enjoy themselves and leave with something you’ll remember forever.”
The theme, Not Your Average Love Story, will incorporate props such as roses and other romantic elements as well as a secret that will not be revealed until the game begins.
“We don’t want to spoil it, but it is one of our biggest props that we are very proud of,” Genco said.
Genco said that this tradition is bigger and more open than people immediately think.
“People see the name and think it is just for a subculture of people but it extends much greater than that,” Genco said. “Were inclusive, not exclusive”.
Kyle Machuca, a game moderator, shared his first experience which led him to become a part of the team.
“The first time I died in the game, the first thing I heard was, ‘welcome to the herd!’” Machuca said. “In that moment, I realized how welcoming everyone was and that was when I realized I knew I had to keep coming back.”
Machuca said he uses the game as a stress reliever because it serves as something fun to focus on instead of the pressure of taking an exam or any problem he has to face as a student. Machuca also said it creates a sense of community.
“My only friends were my suitemates until I joined HvZ the next semester,” Manchuca said. “I made some of my closest friends. The game creates a good sense of connection. You connect with people who you would never think you’d talk to before.”
Noel Harris, moderator and player of the game, said it is a great way for students to connect to USF campus.
“You get to learn the campus very well which is very beneficial for people new to the school wanting to join,” Harris said.
As a transfer student, Harris said she did not know anyone on campus, so she used HvZ as a way to meet new people.
“When I started here as a freshman I wanted that sense of community and, for me, HvZ had the perfect balance of nerdiness and friendship to be something that I wanted to be a part of,” Harris said.
Harris said her advice to people who are questioning if they want to participate in the game is to just try a mission and see.
Missions are objectives to complete before the start of each game. Every day includes a different mission whether it may be collecting items around campus or rescuing a person hidden in a building.
To decipher the difference, a bandana is worn around the arm designate a human and around the head for a zombie. For protection the humans can use nerf guns or socks to stun the zombie to escape. There are options for day time or night time play.
“The moderator team have worked so hard,” Machuca said. “It has been top-notch and we continue to think of ways to make it better.”
Town Meeting times and locations are located on the USF HvZ website as well as registration to receive an email on where to meet. Prepare your nerf guns, socks and bandanas for the first game Wednesday night at 10.