The zombie virus will soon strike Tampa once again, and one by one students will unwillingly join the league of the undead. Nowhere on campus is safe – except for classrooms and dormitories.
Starting Thursday at midnight, students will appear around campus wearing bandanas and gory, ghastly makeup for this semester’s Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) game. The game will run 24 hours a day from Thursday to Nov. 11, and will include 12 missions.
“You’re always on the lookout for zombies; it’s quite an interesting feeling,” said Wesley Pate, an industrial engineering major and treasurer for HvZ.
With zombies still holding their own in pop culture with shows like “The Walking Dead” and games like “Dead Island,” it’s not surprising that students want to try their own hands at survival in a relatively tame version of the zombie apocalypse. Over 200 students have already signed up to participate.
“Initially, I just did it to hang out with my friends who were really into it,” said Nicholas Conde, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. “I really enjoy playing missions and getting to do things with friends. Both sides of it were really cool.”
The game is held at USF, is open to all and everyone from USF alumni to students from other universities come to play.
“I love it; it’s too much fun,” said Linda Rose Danial a senior majoring in chemistry at the University of Tampa. “I love the adrenaline rush. The longer you play it, the more you actually calm down and you start thinking more – not strategically – but you get more into the game and you’re not as taken over.”
The game consists of two teams: the living and the dead. Humans, identified by the bandana around their arms, can stun the virtually invincible zombies with Nerf blasters and rolled-up socks to try to stay alive.
Zombies, identified by bandanas worn around their heads, are advised not to bite humans; this strain of the virus can be spread simply through tagging.
“I’ve played as both human and zombie before and they definitely have their different aspects that are really interesting for people,” Pate said. “Playing as a human is an entirely different feeling on its own. It’s that instinct to survive and adrenaline that you get going out for missions.”
Missions are usually held at night and give players more objectives than staying alive.
In order to join the game, students are required to attend a town hall meeting during which one of the game moderators will explain the game’s guidelines, rules and regulations, and answer any extra questions.
Students can register to play by creating an account on usfhvz.org and attending one of the game’s town hall meetings, which will be held every day until Wednesday. A list of meeting times can be found on the game’s website and Facebook page.