Tag isn’t just for elementary school playgrounds anymore. A new mutation of the game — aptly called Humans vs. Zombies (HVZ) — has been popping up at colleges across the country. Invented a few years ago at Goucher College in Maryland, HVZ has taken over the UW campus in recent years, enlisting close to a thousand members, according to its Facebook group.
Here are the basics: for about a week, approximately four hundred students play a massive game of tag in which “humans” defend themselves with foam darts (shot from NERF guns) and socks (thrown) as they complete “missions,” while an ever-increasing number of “zombies” try to take out the humans by simply touching them.
HVZ entails one or two weeklong rounds every semester and draws participants from all different backgrounds. The organization’s president, David Bebeau x’12, says that even some members of the men’s basketball team have been in on the action.
The game is all about having fun and a way to escape the typical pressures of college, although academic buildings and residence halls are off limits because of the flying darts and socks.
“We’re just a growing group of kids who don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Bebeau says.
Published in the Summer 2011 issue