Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 17, 2024

Humans vs. zombies game adapts following weapon confusion

When the human survivors on campus made their last stand against an overwhelming zombie force Friday night, they were armed with socks rather than the standard Nerf guns, as part of a compromise with university officials after a week of heightened suspicions and unease regarding weapons following the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings.

Humans vs. Zombies, the highly visible campus-wide variation of tag, held its spring round last week. Most participants start as humans, while a handful begin as zombies that must tag humans to create more zombies. Humans can “stun” zombies with toy Nerf guns or socks to prevent being tagged. The humans win if they survive until the end of the week and the zombies win if they turn every human.

The Nerf guns have caused confusion with real guns in the past—until two years ago, human players problematically painted the brightly colored toys in darker shades—and they were mistaken for real weapons on campus on the Wednesday and Thursday following the Boston attack, according to UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott.

“We understand it’s a game that uses fake weapons, but they can look real,” Lovicott said. “When that happens it becomes a public safety issue.”

UW-Madison senior and game organizer Alex Turek said he did not learn about the weapon reports until the six organizers—known as moderators—were called into the Dean’s office Friday, the day the game was set to wrap up.

“It [would have been] hard for us to reschedule and get people out,” he said. “The university worked really hard for us to get a final compromise with the Friday night mission.”

Working with Associate Dean of Students Kevin Helmkamp and the UWPD liaison, the moderators worked out an arrangement for humans to use socks, rather than Nerf guns, which allowed the round to finish as planned, albeit without Nerf weaponry.

“Given the context of recent national events … we have decided that the most responsible course of action is to eliminate any imitation gun play,” the moderators wrote in a Facebook message to all participants.

The last mission Friday night was “mummy-themed,” pitting the remaining humans against “Pharaoh Buckeye the Third” and his undead minions. The humans were eventually overrun, surprised by a group of zombies hidden in a U-Haul trailer.

“It went smoothly, and despite the cold weather and snow, the players … made the most of our event.” Turek said.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal