By Kandace Fung CMC '19
It’s almost that time: Oct. 6 through Oct. 10 marks the 2015 fall semester game of Humans versus Zombies (HvZ)! Happening once each semester, HvZ includes over 500 players from all 5Cs, making it one of the major substance-free activities hosted at the Claremont Colleges.
This game of tag starts off with a larger faction of humans and a smaller faction of zombies.
The zombies try to tag the humans to gain more zombies, while the humans protect themselves with either darts from a foam blaster or a rolled-up sock ball. In addition to foam blasters and socks, there are certain props labeled “Claremont HvZ Game Prop. Please do not disturb.” to be used for some of the missions. As the game progresses with specific missions and projects, the zombie will faction increases, intensifying the game. Players in the game are identified with a lime-green bandana: humans wear it around their arms above their elbows while zombies wear it around their heads (while active) or around their necks (while inactive – stunned).
Of course, like every game, HvZ has rules. The primary rule is DBAJ: “Don’t be a Jerk.” Respect others, be polite, and play fairly! Physical/mental/sexual assault also falls under the DBAJ category. The mod team, picked through an application process, will remove plays that violate that or any other rule during the game as they see fit, either for a duration of the game or for the entire game.
Non-players are not allowed to take part in the game in any form – they may not be used as shields, be attacked, gather darts, open doors, or be inquired about player whereabouts. Likewise, stunned players must follow the non-player rules. When zombies are hit by a dart, sock, or disc anywhere but the face, they become stunned for ten minutes, and are therefore prohibited to block, help, or do anything that will aid their zombie faction or hurt the humans.
Re-stuns on an inactive zombie will either set the zombie’s stun timer to 3 minutes or remain the same time(whichever is longest). If a zombie is caught cheating on their stun timer, the first violation will result in a ban from a mission; the second violation will result in a ban from the game. When asked how much time is left on the stun timer, the zombie must reply truthfully to the human.
Humans become zombies when they are tagged by a zombie with one hand only. After the human is tagged, they become stunned for ten minutes (three minutes if during a night mission) before activating as a zombie. In addition, after humans are tagged, they must give their feed card to the zombie(s) that tagged them, who will enter it into the feed page. All humans are issued a five-letter feed code on their card and must keep it on them at all times; however, if they lose or forget it, the mods can assist them obtain their codes.
During the game, a day and night mission will be sent out via email (day mission emails sent out at 9:00 a.m., night mission emails sent out at 4:00 p.m.) to both humans and zombies each day. Some missions will have additional rules (explained in the email) and the results of the mission can sometimes turn around the entire game with changes in the plot and difficulty!
Students at the 5Cs can sign up for this Fall’s HvZ game from Sept. 28 through Oct. 5 at all of the dining halls during lunch. Volunteers for the sign-up tables are welcome!