The zombies are coming!

It takes smarts to get through college, but it takes guts to keep those brains on the way to class.

Today is the last day to register for the fifth annual Humans vs. Zombies, a game of survival that will turn the entire campus into an undead nightmare.

“When you’re walking to class as a human, you’re hiding, going between buildings and shelter trying to stay alive,” Heath Rinkus said. “As a zombie, you’re just looking around for people hiding and staying alive.”

Rinkus, a junior majoring in education, will act as moderator to create scenarios that will encourage survivors to enter perilous situations where zombies lurk from every corner. 

Past missions have asked survivors to defend human prey held up in the gym from waves of zombies.

“We (once asked) humans to build a fort out of cardboard boxes,” he said. “If the zombies made the torches (outside) collapse by tagging them, they fell onto the fort, burned it down and the humans lost … they’re rushing to knock it down.”

Humans are marked by a bandana tied to their arms, while zombies have a bandana around their heads. In the first 24 hours, however, the original zombies are allowed to hide among the crowd without a bandana. 

“All humans are extremely paranoid during the first day,” Rinkus said.

The game starts with a large group of humans and a single zombie. By the end of it, however, zombies build up their numbers by infecting the survivors.

“It all culminates in the final mission,” Rinkus said. “It is difficult for the humans to achieve this final task, which — depending on the storyline — might involve nuking the area, escaping on the helicopter, spaceship (or) curing the zombies.”

In order to survive to the final night Tuesday, humans are allowed to defend themselves against attacking zombies.

“Humans defend themselves with Nerf blasters, PVC blowguns and socks,” he said. “You cannot kill zombies —they’re (stunned) for a 15 minute timeout.”

For zombie players, they must get close enough to tag the human player, which transforms the victim into part of the undead horde. 

Rinkus said it’s fun to play on both sides of life and death. 

“As a human, you are constantly on your toes between classes, keeping your head on a swivel … you don’t want zombies catching you off guard,” he said. “It’s entirely different for zombies. It’s much more carefree — you coordinate and attack. If you die, you come back and horde up again.”

Today is the last day to register at Players must also first go over rules and safety with moderators by attending a town hall meeting held throughout today in the Marshall Student Center. 

Though students are allowed to tweak toy guns to increase firing range, they cannot look like real guns and must be inspected first. 

The event is sponsored by Armada Games and is free for any USF student to register.

“It’s the funnest thing you can do on campus, and more players make it better,” Rinkus said. “There’s no prize other than that warm fuzzy feeling of surviving as a human or eating brains as a zombie — it’s a lot about glory.”