Last night the students of CU Boulder staged another zombie drill in the form of the popular game Humans vz. Zombies. But this time, the game came with a dangerous twist.
Following the success of the week-long Humans vs. Zombies game at CU Boulder in early March, the game’s organizers decided to stage a shortened version on a weekend. With the blessing of campus police, the HvZ players took over the Engineering Center Saturday night from 11PM to 4AM. The dark, empty building proved the perfect place for a zombie drill. If you thought fighting zombies outside in broad daylight was harrowing, the dim, spooky halls of a classroom building late at night made for sheer terror.
Because the game was contained inside a building while most of the student-body was tucked safely away in their beds, the HvZ players were allowed to use Nerf weapons. Last December, the CU Boulder campus banned fake guns such as Nerf blasters on campus. The HvZ players compromised by thowing balled-socks at the zombies while on campus.
Humans vs. Zombies was invented at Goucher College several years ago as an advanced form of tag. What started out as only a light-hearted game with zombies wearing head bands and humans wearing arm bands has turned into the most advanced zombie drill in the United States (Source: Me).
Saturday night’s scenario went thusly: The human resistance had lost contact with zombie researcher Professor Noble. Their goal was to head to his last known location in the zombie-infested Engineering Center. Once the professor was found, the resistance then had to repair the electric doors to escape from the building. Along the way, the humans (and those meddling zombies) scavenged supplies in the building, including vaccines, wires to repair the doors, ammunition, and (most importantly) candy.
I tagged along as the humans set off on their mission. This time, there were three O.Z.’s (original zombies), and they lurked in stairwells and in dark corners. The humans seemed to be doing well at first. They found the professor’s body quickly, and set about gathering supplies. But the tables turned as the zombies set up ambush after ambush. I watched in horror as resistance fighter Tim Fahy walked cautiously down a hall, only to be nabbed by a zombie hiding behind a vending machine. Fortunately, Fahy’s teammates were able to supply him with the vaccine, and he lived to fight another day.
The humans were tense, organized, breaking off into teams to clear hallways and kicking open doors to check for hidden zombies. But one by one, they fell. I witnessed a feat of bravery and marksmanship as sophomore Jenny Engblom took down four zombies with her Nerf blaster.
Student Mike Leuthaeuser, a former National Guardsman, said of stalking the zombies through dim hallways, “It’s just like urban ops training all over again.” And indeed, there was something dangerous and nerve-wracking about walking through a maze of a building, with no easy escape, and the dead lurking around every corner.
Students organized themselves in teams, those with the biggest weapons and the most ammo going on the most dangerous hunts. Student Joe Vanderven was armed with what can only be described as a hand-held tank, the word “Invictus” scrawled on the butt of the weapon. Bonnie Goss, a CSU student, was armed to the teeth, with bandoliers of Nerf darts and balled-up socks slung across her chest.
But it wasn’t enough to save the resistance. The zombies killed the humans, and like clockwork, those former humans joined the evil ranks of the undead. Around 3AM, the zombies cornered the remained humans and wiped them out. Their mission incomplete, the humans never had a chance to escape from the building. This one was a clear victory for the zombies, and a successful zombie drill for all 50 students involved.
Stay informed, stay alive: Colorado State University is playing HvZ in just a few weeks. Check back with me for updates.
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