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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, April 18, 2024
zombies

Humans Vs. Zombies human players prepare for Wednesday's night mission in front of Agriculture Hall, a permanent "safe zone." 

Nerf blasters and orange bandanas take over campus to defeat zombies

Aliens invaded Madison and overwhelmed human forces Sunday, forcing a group of Marines to secure ammunition and a satellite feed to drive off the enemy. After a series of efforts to deal with the subsequent zombie invasion, the Marines discovered a possible cure and hope to distribute it Thursday.

No, Wisconsin’s capitol isn’t really under attack. The UW-Madison campus has, however, become a small slice of the universe described in a video game called Halo.

From Sept. 20-25, players with the Humans Vs. Zombies campus group live the game in a tense role-playing scenario trademarked by their bright orange bandanas.

The organization chapter, started in 2009, is a way for students and community members to break out their Nerf blasters, chase unsuspecting humans or participate in “missions.”

“The environment that we create enables players to [make] … stories,” HVZ President David Richards said. “They’re out here to have fun.”

At the start of the game, all players begin as humans who must protect themselves from the six original zombies, or “OZs.” Using Nerf guns or rolled-up socks as grenades, humans—identified by orange armbands—are tasked with keeping the zombie population—identified by orange headbands—as low as possible once the OZs reveal themselves.

While Richards described the human effort as fairly effective, by Wednesday night he and HVZ Vice President Chris Rogers counted the human and zombie populations as almost even, at 84 and 81 respectively.

Friday’s final mission will determine the winner of the round, ending the week’s story with a historic “final showdown.” Richards said zombies have almost always won, with only Three out of all 12 rounds going to the humans.

Rogers said the moderators for the current round have ensured the final mission is feasible for humans to win, however.

“We are not sending [the humans] to their doom,” Rogers said. “It’s always a challenge to each one of them, how many objectives can [they] actually accomplish before [they] get taken out. But for this one, we actually have a design where we are giving them a chance to win.”

The group holds a fall and a spring round every year, as well as “mini rounds” throughout the year. Although the group of moderators this semester is fairly new, Richards said they are doing their best to reinvigorate the game and keep up the “hype.”

Richards said anyone can join the group to experience the nail-biting week. But be warned: you might soon have a zombie on your tail.

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