Humans vs Zombies! The Child Lives On!

8:37 PM Marcellino DAmbrosio 4 Comments

            Coming up this Monday, my household, “The Lawless Heirs of God the Father,” is hosting their second annual game of “Humans vs Zombies,” a high powered, highly addictive game of adult tag. Here is the basic concept described by the Humans vs Zombies official website:

            “Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game of moderated tag commonly played on college campuses. A group of human players attempts to survive a “zombie outbreak” by outsmarting a growing group of zombie players”

Basically, in our version of the game, one player is selected to be the original zombie (Patient Zero) and as he tags players, they turn into zombies and attempt to “eat” the remaining humans. The humans attempt to survive long enough to reach the end of the timeline. There are missions, there are socks, and there is large scale mayhem throughout the duration of the week long game.  Here is a picture to describe said mayhem:

            We had a total of about 40 players come out to the first mission last year. By the end of the week, that number had grown to 60, and people got so into it that a game that was intended to last for a month lasted for five days. It was an unbelievable success at AMU, but it has been even more successful elsewhere. When we started playing, we knew that “HvZ” was on several college campuses across the country, but we had no idea the extent to which it has spread. Just to give you some background on this growing phenomenon, in addition to the hundreds of HvZ games hosted by universities and neighborhoods across the US, recently there was a city wide game of “HvZ” in Melbourne that drew six thousand players. SIX THOUSAND! Can you even IMAGINE what it would be like to be the last person alive being attacked by six thousand brain-hungry zombies? There have been countless videos, documentaries, and trailers put up on youtube, and “Nerf” has even sponsored some of the larger scale “HvZ” clubs. Here’s one of the most epic videos to get your blood pumping:


            The media has caught on to the growing “HvZ” craze, and like most things that aren’t sports, have been shocked by the game’s resilience and ability to draw men and women on the cusp of adulthood on such a large scale. Professional and well socialized grown ups all over the US are asking questions like the following comment left on this fox article (the opening of that article is priceless, by the way):

                     "What? Are you serious?? This is what our youth is doing with their time at
                     college (instead of actually getting an education)? And this is our future... great.           
                    We're screwed."
I wonder what this same well socialized grown up might think about a football recruit going to college simply to play football, but I digress.
Our good friends at “HvZ” have treated this sort of “concern,” along with many others in the press section on the “HvZ” website. It reads:
“Part of going to college is learning to take yourself more seriously, be it through developing your opinions, honing your discipline or by many other means. When we look at the professional world, we see many intelligent, disciplined, serious people, but we’re worried that it comes at a price. It’s easy to become so wrapped up in your own professional serious image that you forget how to have fun. That idea is simply unacceptable to us. Humans vs Zombies is a way of holding on to one’s inner child, of allowing one’s self to have fun for no other reason than to have fun. Participation forces you to re-evaluate your life. The simple task of walking to class becomes a life or death situation. If you commit yourself to the game and allow yourself to play earnestly, you eventually come to a point in which you realize just how ridiculous you seem to the outside observer. This idea sounds, to put it modestly, unpalatable to most people. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt in our minds as to the benefits in playing. We notice these benefits even when returning to our professional lives.”

At the top of their website, there is a quote that I think really dovetails into the purpose of this blogging experiment:

"The antidote for the ailments of a generation.”
                                    - International Herald Tribune

As one player with a cool hat eloquently put during an interview:
“I play zombies because they outlawed dodgeball when I was in middleschool, and there is no other way for me to pretend to be a commando anymore and it be real.”

They have taken away our dodgeball, they have taken away our toy guns, they’ve taken away our monkey bars and our slides, and our swingsets and even our sticks. This generation has been raised in a sterile environment, driven by the fear that someone might get hurt, or worse, dirty. And whatever we did have when we were young, we’ve been told that we must grow out of our play, that the mantra to live by is “sobriety and seriousness always and everywhere. Some of us millennials, however, are fighting back. This generation has fathered the “flash mob,” “Assassins,” and countless other large scale social phenomena’s in the same playful spirit of HvZ. Though we do want to grow up, and have families and houses and cars and everything else that entails, we do not want to be “grown ups.” I don’t know about you guys, but I refuse to believe that growing up means selling my attic full of costumes, my nerf guns, and my soul along with them. My love for life is contingent upon the fact that I can go out, dressed up like a zombie and chase humans around if I want to. Or maybe I want to grab a bottle of wine and write a poem. The whole point of working is so that I can do ether.

Here are a couple more thoughts to tie this whole thing up: As another player said: Humans verse Zombies is “everything you ever wanted to do when since you were seven.” The whole experience of “HvZ” is a more mature version of the times when you used to play make believe with your brother in the creek behind your house. Back then we may have been happy with  tag, but now that we have matured, instead of putting tag away, we simply make it more awesome. That is my generation. The makers of the game said on the “Who are You” section of their website: “We’re college students and professionals who think that play is part of adulthood.” Amen brothers! May your nerf guns never jam and your hearts never falter!

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  1. "I wonder what this same well socialized grown might think about a football recruit going to college simply to play football, but I digress." HAHA.

    have fun with HvZ on monday!

  2. ok so here are my thoughts:

    Since I do not live on my college campus (or yours) or anywhere near it, this can not be done in that setting.


    I do intern at a large organization, so what better way to allow my fellow colleagues to loosen up and let their inner child out and introduce them to HvZ. Oh man. This could get cuh-razy.

    In response to the critics of this game, if adults were to let loose of the oh so tight grip they have on being "professional and mature" and hold tightly to letting your inner child play, there would most likely be happier people in this world resulting in less crime. ha.

  3. It's a game of tag with an extra dose of imagination. And no one gets hurt? Anyone who does would be very capable of doing the very same thing if the game had not been occurring.

    It's a fun game (I write from an undisclosed location awaiting my doom, currently involved in HvZ)

  4. What? I'm not quite sure what you're getting at there.