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Zombie frenzy coming to Brockport


Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 09:02


Photo Illustration by Carly Rose Gundlach

Brockport students (from left to right) Doug Tay, Sean Pfleging and Dylan George show how a game of Human versus Zombies is played. Brockport’s own version of a Humans versus Zombies club is starting on campus.

An obsession with the undead and the resulting apocalypse has captivated our country like a bad habit. One of the most popular shows on TV right now is The Walking Dead, a smash hit with a plot that revolves around a small group of humans fighting to survive a zombie takeover. 

This fascination with the undead and the impending doom of the human race has even begun to take a comical perspective, with parody zombie films lighting up the big screen and zombie clubs popping up on college campuses, which now includes Brockport. 

Brockport student Scott Harris decided to start a club that revolved around the game called Humans vs. Zombies (HVZ) on campus. The premise of the game is similar to tag, except it can last for weeks and hundreds of people can be involved. 

HVZ was originally founded in 2005 by two students from Goucher College in Maryland. They were just looking for something a little more exciting to do on campus. Little did they know, the game would become internationally recognized and played at more than 650 colleges and universities across the globe. Even high schools, military bases and summer camps have started to adopt the game.

The rules are pretty simple, yet taken very seriously. As can be found on, there are requirements to joining the game and very strict guidelines. 

After a game has been started on your campus, everyone who wants to be involved starts out as a human, except for one particular person. This one person is called the “Original Zombie.” It is then their job to “infect” as many people as they possibly can by tagging them. 

There are only three things each player needs: a bandana, a Foam Dart Blaster or wadded up socks, and a notecard. They must carry these things with them at all times. A human is asked to tie the bandana around their arm or leg, while the zombies have to tie the bandana around their head. This way, each player is identified and it is easy to differentiate who is human and who is a zombie. 

Humans carry the Dart Blasters or balls of socks, which are used to “stun” the zombies for 15 minutes, allowing for a quick escape. Each zombie must infect one human every 48 hours or else they “starve” and are disqualified from the game. 

After a human has been tagged by a zombie, they must give the zombie their notecard with their personal identification number on it so the zombie can report the tag to prove they are still in the game. The game is considered finished when every human has become a zombie or all the zombies have starved.

To keep the game from becoming overwhelming, there are safe zones on campus where gameplay is excluded. These places include academic buildings, libraries, indoor athletic facilities and bathrooms. 

When the game first started on the Goucher campus, it meant to be secondary to classes and other daily activities. However, students became so involved in the game that they would lock themselves in their rooms to avoid being tagged. Students also started rotating shifts to keep watch over their dorm buildings and they wouldn’t walk around campus when there was a large crowd. 

The founders of the game realized in order to keep people from trying to cheat the game by locking themselves in their rooms, they would have to create “missions” for each team to fulfill. This meant that they would be forced to go out onto campus and complete challenges and report back after they were completed. By doing this, the game became more interactive and it allowed the game to keep a heavier pace. 

“The goal is to have a game going this spring that will last around a week,” Harris wrote in an email. “And I plan on getting at least 15 to 20 members plus 150 or more people for the main game in the latter part of the semester.” He ran the Humans vs. Zombies club at his last school, SUNY Farmingdale, and he’s hoping to bring the intensity of this famous game to Brockport.

HVZ club meets Wednesdays in the Seymour Union’s Room 228 from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

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