No zombie epidemic this semester, will return in future

Humans vs. Zombies has long had an enthusiastic base of players on campus; for weeks out of every semester, human survivors sprinted outside while zombies intercepted, ambushed and swarmed them at every opportunity. This semester, though, students’ only ambushes will be coming from unexpected group projects and papers.

Because of a low number of sign-ups, the game has been cancelled this semester for the first time since it came to campus.

Second-year Christopher Gittings, one of the members of the organizing group HvZ Core, said that the group had only 118 entrants, while their target minimum was set at 150 players.

“The Big Games Club’s [the organization under which HvZ is organized] view is that, even with the 139 players we had last spring, there wasn’t enough excitement because it was too easy to survive as a human with the number of players participating.”

The low number of participants came as a surprise to the organizers; past spring semester games of HvZ have usually had around 150 participants, with fall semesters seeing upwards of 300 players. The surprise is accompanied by disappointment at the cancellation, as well as some concern for the future of the game if this trend continues.

“The organizers are sad. We wanted to play HvZ just as much as the rest of the 118 people who signed up,” said Gittings. “There is a concern that HvZ may switch to only having games every fall semester, but I hope that’s not the case.”

HvZ Core hopes to address this semester’s problem for future games through better communication and advertising for interested players, which is one suspected reason for this semester’s low turnout. According to Gittings, organizers tabled in Nord Hall for the two days leading up to the event and at Leutner Commons and Fribley Commons for the two days before that. In the past, they have begun tabling earlier.

“We missed out on some players this semester because many people didn’t know that the game was coming up, and therefore didn’t know to sign up,” said Gittings.

While the main game this semester has been cancelled, HvZ Core has been preparing a smaller, follow-up game in the same vein as the popular event. Announcements from the group are to follow when the game is ready to be run. The previously prepared material for this semester’s game, including story and missions, will be used in the fall semester game.

Despite the setback this semester and some of these rising concerns, HvZ Core hopes that HvZ will make a strong return in the future. The organization will address this semester’s issues when planning for future games, but is hoping to keep the core game intact.

“Besides changes relating to safety that were implemented in last semester’s game, there doesn’t look to be any serious changes to the nature of the game itself in the future,” said Gittings.