Feb 162010
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

You may have noticed more people looking furtive and hunted as they scurry from class to class. Many of your friends or loved ones may have developed a fixation on the need for “Braaains.” The natural explanation would be that finals week is here again, but in actuality, it’s Humans vs. Zombies time at CSU.
As a watcher of horror movies and a frequent screamer of advice at the characters in such, I feel that I am uniquely suited to advise those involved in the game. To those not involved in the game, I have tips for how to play a meta-game that involves tormenting players for your own amusement.
I must stress that I do not actually condone tormenting others for your own giggles. I do, however, provide explicit instructions.
The game has a few hundred participants and boils down basically into tag. The zombies want to touch you, which feeds them and turns you into a zombie. The players don’t want to be zombies, because zombies don’t get to carry Nerf guns.
This distinction doesn’t seem important until you realize some people will spend 30 bucks on a gun they will fire once, and they will miss.

With those basics established, survival comes down to tactics. Is the covering fire of a large group better, or will that just draw zombies down upon your sweet brain meats? As a zombie, do you want to have a horde of runners or a cunning ambush?

For those of you not playing the game, the tactics mostly look like a small group of people eying you nervously while stalking the plaza. It must be hard to maintain the spooky atmosphere essential for zombie encounters in the sea of people giggling and going about their daily lives. Thankfully, you can help.

Get a laptop with a decent set of speakers and a few sound effects from zombie movies. Follow the hunters around and provide an appropriate atmosphere –– there’s nothing that helps concentration like a series of well-timed ear-splitting shrieks. As a plus, these sounds may draw zombies down upon them, which is what they want, if I am understanding things correctly.

Don’t worry, zombies and zombie-supporters. I’m here to help you, too. Keep in mind that they have range and, at first, numbers on you. I recommend a phalanx. Send a few runners in first who aren’t intended to survive the assault, and they’ll form a wall of Nerf-proof flesh that you can surge from behind. Make sure to alternate who plays the wall so you don’t get hungry.

To those not in the game –– I know you’re rooting for the zombies. But, statistically speaking, you didn’t sign up for the game, and direct interference isn’t as much of an option as you’d like.

But, for the sake of realism, there’s one thing that must be modeled in any Zombie Apocalypse –– the uninfected are just as likely to get you killed, and they’re already behind the barricade.

Step one –– needlessly horde supplies. Go buy all the nice Nerf guns so that you’re armed should the game somehow come to involve you. You can return them once the zombies have consumed all participants and proven they’re no danger to you.

Step two –– pretend to be a survivor, but be incompetent. Loudly discuss plans for hiding, then break from the group and rush at the zombies by yourself. Get turned, but hide it from everyone. Repeatedly suggest splitting up.

A nice game of tag is one thing, but if CSU wants a taste of what mankind vs. walking plague would actually be like, we’ll really need to bring our game faces to this. Because if there’s one thing we’d actually need to show to survive, it’s brains. Sweet, sweet brains.

Johnathan Kastner is a senior computer science major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

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