*Editor’s Note: This story is the first in a three part series about the Humans versus Zombies event. Check each day’s Collegian for infection updates. The second installment will run Thursday in the Verve section, and the final installment will run Monday.
The infection started at midnight on Monday. A special flu supervirus, according to one student organization e-mail, coupled with the notorious H1N1 virus and has been unleashed upon the CSU campus.
In an act of terrorism, according to the release, the mutant strain dubbed H1Z1 was let loose by the secret terrorist organization BRAAAAIIIIIIIINS, that’s also set free some infected patients from the CSU Police Department.
The hunt for these individuals commenced at 6 a.m. Monday morning. These “undead humanoids” with “their minds in advanced states of deterioration” are considered to be extremely contagious through body-to-body contact, according to the release.
Several hours before the first infection, a group of students belonging to Humans versus Zombies at CSU met in the basement of Edwards Hall late Sunday, putting the final details on the campus-wide event with the same name.
Essentially a large-scale game of tag, the group is split into two factions: the Resistance, or humans, and the Horde, or zombies. Humans are distinguished by a bandana around the arm; zombies are distinguished by a bandana around the head.
The original zombie was selected Sunday night to start the Horde. Zombies can infect the humans by tagging them, while humans can fend off the infected by “stunning” them with Nerf gun darts or sock bombs.
The goal for humans: to survive until late Friday night as a human. The goal for zombies: to infect all the humans.
However, HvZ at CSU President Sam Lewis said, “The game isn’t about surviving, it’s about having fun.”
The student organization was created in the same vein of the larger HvZ organization, created in 2005 by two students from Goucher College in Baltimore.
According to HumansvsZombies.org, the group consists of “college students and professionals who think that play is part of adulthood.”
Lewis championed the sentiment, saying, “Everybody loves zombies. It’s a part of our culture.”
Lead Moderator for the group Landon Eskew said most of the first people to sign up were so-called “nerds,” but Lewis said the game has brought together a random selection of people, including “loads of cute girls.”
Lewis said the organization, in his eyes, has been the fast growing student group this semester, gathering more than 1,000 members in just fewer than three weeks.
“I feel this is something that 90 percent of the school would like to participate in,” Lewis said, later adding, “I would love to see this thing return to CSU.”
He said the spectrum of participants spans many social groups, including a 57-year-old non-traditional student, a couple of teaching assistants and several people using crutches.
Eskew had jokingly asked one girl with crutches at the recruiting event on the Lory Student Center Plaza if she’d already signed up. She replied with a smug look, “I’ve already got my gun.”
According to group officials, missions will help to involve participants with the hopes of leaving humans vulnerable to zombies, but whether the game is successful rides on the participation of those involved.
“It’s the players who are going to make it intense,” said Lead Moderator Bonnie Goss.
Also, visit Collegian.com for blog updates from players and photos of game play.
Entertainment Editor Johnny Hart can be reached at email@example.com.