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Veteran Member - Level 12
And now we venture into the world of off-topic. I like to do
the occasional non-gaming blog, and this definitely counts. As I sit here and
type out these words, the myriad of aches and pains throughout my body are a
constant reminder of my brief time as a Human and longer time as a Zombie. I
doubt I'll be moving very quickly these next couple days... Dear god I am sore.
Life as a zombie really takes it out of you.
This isn't some weird meta fanfiction- I really mean that I
was a Zombie. Those of you still in college have probably heard about Humans vs. Zombies. It's basically one
giant game of tag that lets you live out the zombie apocalypse. The game tends
to be played on college campuses, a central location for everyone involved. The
end result is inevitable for almost every game- Zombies win. After seeing the
results of a zombie outbreak firsthand, I have to say that things are not
looking good for us if a real zombie apocalypse ever occurs.
The game is simple. Three people begin as Zombies. They
infect new people with a two hand tag. The Humans can stun Zombies with NERF
guns and foam darts. However, an infected can't be killed. Each stun only
freezes them for fifteen minutes. Buildings are safe, everywhere else is not.
Humans wear a bandana on their arm; Zombies wear a bandana on their head.
It's a lot of fun. At my college, we had around 600 people
sign up to play. Although the infection began with three Zombies, it spread
like wildfire. By the end of the week everyone was infected. Unfortunately,
that includes me. I got the chance to try my hand at a zombie apocalypse. The
results were interesting, to say the least. Here's how I (didn't) survive a
week of ravenous Zombie attacks.
Fair warning: This blog is a little long, but it's pretty cool. At least I think it is. Judge for yourself!
Day One- Outbreak
There's nothing quite like the paranoia that accompanies walking
to class on the first day. Buildings are safe, but you have to go outside
eventually in order to get to class. Usually the Zombies attack those walking
from class to class. The games began Monday morning. I walked to my first
class, slowly and with great caution. Zombies could be anywhere.
The journey from my dorm building to class was uneventful. I
took a secluded path to class and entered the building from a seldom-used door.
No one saw me. The trouble came when I walked out of class an hour later. In
order to reach my next class on time, I would have to pass through one of the
busiest parts of campus. Zombies would almost certainly be there.
Sure enough, there were two Zombies outside the building. I
spotted them, but they didn't appear to have seen me. I quickened my pace and
walked as fast as possible. Had they noticed me? Probably not. It was best not
to pull out a weapon and draw attention. Best to just walk quickly. I made it
most of the way to another building with short, fearful steps. All I had to do
was get inside and I'd be safe.
That's when I heard the sound of footsteps, rapidly
approaching from behind. They'd seen me. I turned back and saw one sprinting across
the open. My first instinct was to turn and sprint away... or at least, try to
The first day of the infection, and I tripped. My stuff spilled everywhere and I took a dive over concrete.
There was a nasty scab wound extending from my elbow about halfway up my arm as
a reminder of this little catastrophe. Needless to say, the Zombies didn't have
any trouble catching me after I went face first into the ground. I was
infected, three hours into the game. How lame is that?
The Life of a Zombie
I was pretty mad about being tagged so early in the game.
Some later news salved my wounds- in a single day the infection had spread to
around a hundred people. At least plenty of other people had been caught too. I
joined my new Zombie compatriots with fresh enthusiasm for hunting Humans.
The vast majority of the game has been condensed down into
this section simply to avoid boring you. 80-90% of a Zombie's life is walking
around campus and looking for Humans to infect. There is a lot of downtime. I spent far more time idly chatting with other Zombies
than actually chasing down Humans. If nothing else, you meet some interesting
However, when you do see a human... that's when the intense
part starts. The feeling of chasing down a lone Human is amazing. It's a little
difficult to do by yourself, though. Zombies quickly learned to hunt in packs.
A single Human might have enough ammo to stun three or four zombies, but they
were quickly overwhelmed by groups of eight to ten. The Zombie packs even began
using basic tactics like chasing prey into ambushes. Infecting the Humans was serious
I didn't get a whole lot of kills. To date I have personally
killed three Humans, one of whom I mistakenly let go. It's hard to tag someone
when they have a dart gun and can shoot you from ten feet. As you can tell, I'm
not great at this game. Being a Zombie is still a lot of fun. It's a massive
rush to slowly walk through a crowd of people, looking for prey to infect.
Spotting, chasing, and taking down targets in a group of people feels like a
real-life version of the multiplayer in Assassin's Creed.
Surviving the Odds
It was really fascinating to watch how people's behavior
changed over time. Natural selection
was very much in evidence. If you aren't as familiar with evolutionary theory,
natural selection is the idea that nature "selects" traits that are better for
survival in a given environment. Animals with the best traits have the highest
chance of surviving. The idea is super important in biology.
Our game was kind of similar to that. Over time, those who
were careful and had huge NERF machine guns (favorable traits) survived while
the rash or underpowered Humans died out. Teamwork was another big facrot in
survival. The Humans organized even more quickly than the Zombies, but they had
a leader. One of the Humans was a Marine in the ROTC program. He
brought organization, discipline, and effectiveness to the survivors. They
would not have lasted nearly as long without his leadership.
The ROTC guy kind of made infecting people difficult. Chasing down
one Human was easy enough when you've got a pack of Zombies at your back, but
how do you deal with an organized group divided into fire teams? That man knew
his zombie-killing. He even named his group S. T. A. R. S. after the team from
Everything came to a head on Sunday, the final day in a week
of pure chaos. The Humans were tasked with a special mission- gather several
parts to fix and fuel an escape plane. Obviously there wasn't a real plane, but
they still had to extract several objects and return them to the safe zone to
prepare the imaginary plane. Any Human who didn't make it to the plane was considered
dead. Zombies had to protect the parts necessary. Think of it as a really intense game of
capture the flag.
Going into the final mission, the Zombies were worried. The
Humans were organized, efficient, and very lethal. There was no way we were
going to stop them all from escaping. However, Team Zombie did have a couple
advantages. The biggest one was all of our melee weapons. Around ten Zombies
had found hidden bonuses on campus that allowed them to wield NERF swords and
battleaxes. One guy even used a super *** Minecraft pickaxe. As one Human
put it, "You don't know fear until you're chased by a six-foot Zombie with a
f*cking battle axe."
It's amazing how intimidating these can be.
The Zombies decided to focus all our defenses on one point.
The Humans could grab the other parts of the plane, but we would protect the
fuel. If the Humans didn't get the fuel and "escape" within two hours, they
lost. It was the big finale. You could really feel the tension in the air
around Samford Lawn as the Zombies sat there, waiting for what would
undoubtedly be the strongest Human attack of the game.
They came. The attack was typical of the ROTC guy- suprising,
effective, and careful. The Humans actually left campus and entered behind our
defenses... which was somehow legal. We actually had Zombies set up in the trees
to ambush them, but they didn't matter now.
The Humans advanced slowly in a tightly packed formation.
Any unlucky Zombie who got close to them was quickly stunned. For a few agonizing
minutes, the group inched closer and closer to the fuel that we Zombies had
bet everything on protecting. That's when everything changed. The Zombies
decided to throw caution off a bridge and make one massive charge. They would
either break the lines of S. T. A. R. S. or get stunned en masse and let the fuel slip through their undead fingers.
To my regret, I was not there. During the final moment I was
elsewhere trying to find more Zombies to help us protect the fuel. When I did
return, the game was over. A great deal of Zombies had been stunned, but the
human lines were forever broken. Even S. T. A. R. S. couldn't hold off the
entire horde alone. That one charge sealed the Zombie victory. With most of the
Humans infected, the few survivors couldn't do anything against the
overwhelming tide of Zombies. In the end, even the ROTC guy was zombified.
Once again, the Zombies won. That's really not a good sign
for us as a species if a real zombie outbreak ever occurs... we will probably
lose. Then again, real zombies don't coordinate attacks with cell phones. So
Even though I personally didn't do great, it was still a lot
of fun to play tag with 500 other people. I learned that I'm not as fast as I
think I am. I learned that in a zombie
attack, loners die first. A coordinated team is far more likely to survive than
That's how my week turned out... What was your week like?