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Saturday, Sep 25, 2021

The epic battle begins: Humans versus Zombies

Monday evening marked the conclusion of humanity’s weeklong battle against the zombie horde on Mercer’s Campus. Humans finally developed a way to permanently kill the zombies.
In the end, only six humans survived.
Humans fell to their turned brethren in droves, but the population of zombies quickly reached carrying capacity. Zombies must feed every 48 hours or starve to death. Even though a single human kill could feed two zombies, there were simply not enough careless humans remaining to support a zombie population that numbered in the hundreds.
So hit the great zombie famine toward the end of the week. Zombies were starving out of the game.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the entire battle was an elaborate game of Humans vs. Zombies. Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game of moderated tag in which most players start out as “human,” designated by a white bandana wrapped around the forehead.
If tagged by a “zombie” player wearing an orange bandana, the human player becomes a zombie themselves. With the exception of the final battle, humans could only defend themselves with thrown paper balls, which rendered zombies inert for 15 minutes upon impact.
All academic buildings were out of the bounds of play.
About 250 participants started out the week. By the second day of gaming, 64 humans had been transformed into zombies. The following day the zombie’s numbers grew to 105, but another 10 of the undead starved to death. By the final battle, less than 30 humans remained. The remainder had been turned into zombies.
Humans embarked on two missions during the course of the battle: one to hunt for vials of zombie vaccine and another to escort a researcher to the Willett Science Center so that she could develop a permanent cure. Unfortunately, the escort mission was a failure and the researcher became a zombie herself.
Mercer, Shorter and Sherwood halls joined forces to form the Merterwood government who in turn organized Humans vs. Zombies at Mercer. According to the president of Merterwood, Alfred Lee, members of the Merterwood government conceived the idea earlier this spring.
Merterwood used Humans vs. Zombies Source, a free website, to help organize Humans vs. Zombies. The website assigned each player a unique ID code as well as kept up the current status of each player: living, or undead, or starved. The website also recorded the kill count for each zombie.
When a human player was tagged by a zombie player, the human had to give up their ID to the zombie so that the killer could register it on the source website.
Human players spent most of the week constantly checking over their shoulders and avoiding ambush staged by smarter zombies.
“I walked out of the caf and turned to a friend and said ‘hey there are some zombies, we should get out of here’ and then I got tagged,” sophomore Michael Roberts said.
Roberts was a human for barely 30 minutes. He spent the rest of the game stalking his still-human friends.
“You start picking out people that you want to kill, but it’s all in good fun. I loved it,” Roberts said.
Senior Lee Godsey survived as a human until the final battle.
“I’m a fan of zombie type games and movies, It seemed like a fun change into reality,” Godsey said. “I was on my bike and there were two in front of me. I had to get off my bike and two more came up behind me. I had to fight all four of them off on my own.”
The game was sometimes bewildering to non-players. Mercerians were perplexed as fellow students would suddenly take off running at the first sight of a nearby zombie. Others were happy to watch the carnage unfold in front of them, like a spectator at a Roman gladiator game.
“It’s like watching a lion hunt on National Geographic, you root for the humans, but you kind of want see them get eaten,” Senior Brittani Howell said.


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