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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Zombies Have Taken the Campus

Humans and Zombies have run amok on campus since last week, the current count: 335 humans, 233 zombies and 40 dead. (Kenneth Ho / The Statesman)

Spring has hit Stony Brook and as students crowd the Staller steps, relaxing in between classes and enjoying the warm weather the usual scene of frisbees and footballs fly through the air. But this year, Zombies run through the campus trying to feed off of humans.

Stony Brook University has started its own game of Human vs. Zombies, “a game of moderated tag commonly played on college campuses,” which is now played at “over 200 colleges and universities across the country, as well as high schools, military bases, summer camps, and public libraries,” according to the Humans vs. Zombies information website.

Humans vs. Zombies is a game of tag where all players begin as humans, and one player is chosen randomly to be the “Original Zombie.” The Original Zombie tags human players. The objective is to either have a campus overrun by zombies, or to remain human long enough for all zombies to “starve,” or go longer than 48 hours without tagging a human player.

“The game itself makes people much more aware of campus and the people around them”, says Jesse Oney, a junior majoring in political science and women’s studies major. “HvZ (Humans vs. Zombies) lets you play this awesome strategy game with hundreds of people you’ve never met.”

In 2005 students at Goucher College in Bal-timore, Maryland, invented Humans vs. Zombies, a game that spread virally across the Internet. Kati Overmier, a freshman, started Stony Brook University’s first game, which started Wednesday, run through Monday. There are currently 608 registered players on the Human vs. Zombies website.

Humans vs. Zombies has attracted the attention of non-players as well; accordingly game moderators held two sets of meetings for prospective players thr-oughout the week. As the ga-me progressed, more players became zombies, wrapping bandanas around their foreheads. Human players tied bandanas around their arms or legs, armed with Nerf guns or clean socks, keeping alert and on the lookout for feeding zombies.

“It’s very interesting to change the way you view campus…where you always have to be on guard,” says Benjamin Kammerman, a junior, biology major, and moderator for the game. “It’s reminiscent of being in a battle or in the wild, like you’re being hunted or hunting others, its very intense and real.”

Players are protected from attacks when they are indoors, with a set of rules modified for the Stony Brook campus stating that dorms, dining halls and academic buildings are safe zones. No games are allowed to occur off campus and on hospital grounds.

According to the Stony Brook University Humans vs. Zombies website, “missions are activities designed to keep humans from staying in safe zones all the time, to make the game more interesting, and to offer rewards for completion of missions.” Three to four new missions are offered on the website every day.

“One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about Stony Brook is that it’s hard to connect with people, hard to traverse into new groups and whatnot,” says Oney. “I think people played because it added some variety to campus life, and if they do it again, I’m positive the number of players will grow substantially.”

Craig McCarthy, a senior and engineering major, said “I decided to play the game because a few of my friends were very excited about it and I found it fun to play in between classes”.

The player list at stonybrook.hvzsource.com keeps statistics as to how many players are in the game, along with updated numbers of humans, zombies and “deceased” players. On Monday night, the website will let players know who has won: the humans or the zombies.

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