Humans, Zombies Target Each Other in Campus Battle This Week
By Rachelle Reeves
GCU News Bureau
The fourth-annual Grand Canyon University battle between humans and zombies infects campus this week as students armed with Nerf guns fend off others posing as diseased, bloodthirsty zombies.
Humans vs. Zombies attracted nearly 200 GCU students last year. Participation in the game, which runs through Friday, is expected to double this year.
“H v Z” is similar to a large game of tag where organized groups or individual students act as zombies and scheme together to tackle students posing as uninfected humans. The idea is for either the group of zombies or humans to win the game by surviving missions and day-to-day activities.
Students at Goucher College in Baltimore created the game in 2005. Today, GCU is among more than 600 U.S. colleges and universities that participate. The game on campus has developed into a tradition that bonds students who team up to lookout for the enemy human-or-zombie squads, and interacting to make sure they’re not tagged — or shot with Nerf weapons.
Chandler Mills, a junior forensic science major, met her boyfriend in the game during her freshman year. Now she’s a moderator for GCU’s game.
“This game makes the campus, in my opinion, more of a small community rather than a college,” Mills said.
Moderators design specific missions for the game. Some may consist of time limits for diffusing a fake bomb or searching for online codes to turn black-lights on or to deactivate “starvation” periods that can kill off teammates.
Josh Durfee, a recent GCU graduate, emphasized the importance of team-building through H v Z.
“Students need to stop playing their ‘Call of Duty’ and zombie video games and run around,” Durfee said.
“Make friends working together on mission and groups,” he said. “That will make this game an even bigger part of GCU culture.”
Reach Rachelle Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alyssa Barton contributed to this story.