The virus is spreading and there is no way to contain the epidemic. More and more people are being infected. How can humans survive? On Oct. 5, the semesterly showdown between Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) will take place on Case Western Reserve University campus. After taking a break last semester, HvZ resumed with new rules focusing on gaming safety.
The participants of HvZ will be divided up into two teams, humans and zombies. There will be approximately five original zombies, whose mission is to tag humans and convert them into zombies. Accordingly, the group of humans start out with more people and they must keep themselves from being “bitten” by the zombies. During the 10-day survival game, Humans need to maintain their number and complete as many optional missions as possible to win more points, while Zombies are supposed to tag as many humans as they can to grow the horde.
This year, to ensure the safety of players and bystanders, HvZ Core, the planning committee of HvZ, applied several new rules. Third-year student Chris Gittings has played HvZ three times and now he is the vice president of the Core. He explained the reason behind the change of rules.
Since the Oregon shooting last October, CWRU administrators have been concerned about the safety of students. “When you see all these Nerf blasters around campus and the surrounding community, there is always that slight possibility that someone may mistake a player for an active shooter,” said Gittings. So to continue the game but also ensure the personal safety of players and non-players, Core stipulated several new rules.
First and foremost, concealing blasters or wearing overtly tactical clothing is no longer allowed during the game. Secondly, players are supposed to keep their Nerf blasters as they bought them so that people can easily distinguish real weapons from Nerf blasters. Players are also required to keep their blasters in plain sight. Thirdly, the boundary shrinks to exclude any gameplay near the Church of the Covenant, Edgehill Road and many other locations. These changes in rules do not substantially affect the gaming experience but make sure that everyone is safe and is under appropriate protection.
However the game was cancelled last spring due to an insufficiency of participants. There were only 118 people signed up for the spring game, which was much less than desired. The organizers wanted to have more players to ensure that the experience would be engaging for everyone participating. Using these lessons and experience, HvZ Core hopes to address this insufficiency through better and more extensive advertising this year.
The organizers will be registering players in Leutner and Fribley Commons starting from Wednesday, Sept. 28. There are multiple time slots open for students to register at various locations around campus.
With stronger emphasis on safety and hope for more player engagement, Gittings and the HvZ core have some advice to all prospective players this fall: “Play in good faith.” “Watch your surroundings and respect everyone around you, especially non-players.” “Stay within the game boundaries.” “Do not conceal your Nerf blasters.”