By Alexandra Ilitch, Staff Writer
The start of spring 2013 also became the start of the third annual Humans vs. Zombies game students on Michigan State University’s campus have been playing.
The game started in the fall of 2010 as a game of tag where the zombies are “it” meaning you have been tagged. If a zombie tags a human, the person becomes a zombie as well.
The purpose of this game is to turn all humans into zombies or have all zombies starve.
MSU students who engage in this game of tag can be identified by what they wear. They wear a bandana and carry a NERF blaster—a plastic gun that shoots out soft darts—or clean socks that serve as weapons.
Aiman Farooq, a student at MSU and a game player in this game, said that he started playing Humans vs. Zombies his freshman year after an upperclassman suggested it to him.
“It sounded like a real life video game! It’s seriously one of the best times on campus every year. You become friends with complete strangers without any words exchanged,” Farooq said.
“I always recommend new students to try the game because it’s a great way to meet new people. At no other time throughout the year do I see stronger camaraderie on campus,” he said.
Farooq said that there are missions with varying objectives like, escorting a certain person and keeping him or her safe for a set amount of time, or collecting items from different points on campus and bringing them to a drop point.
“The Humans will try and accomplish these objectives while the zombies try to infect and stop them. With each mission the victorious side will get some kind of reward,” he said. A reward can consist of a “safe passage” or secret intel.
Farooq said that Humans vs. Zombies has definitely been one of the more influential aspects of his experience at MSU. He said that he has often used it as the subject of creative pieces for his coursework in communication arts classes.
“Some of my favorite stories to tell and the best personal and professional connections I’ve made have been through this game. It was so important to me that my application essay to Google revolved around a Humans vs. Zombies mission,” he said.
Farooq also claimed he has heard a rumor that the idea was being tossed around to start a full scale Humans vs. Zombies game on the Googleplex campus in Mountain View.
“It’s one amazing week on campus and I wouldn’t trade that experience. I was definitely feeling some emotions on Saturday with this being my last game before graduating this summer,” he said.
Shannon Mazurie, a senior at MSU, is the woman behind this campus game, which started as a group of 300 people and just recently grew to over 600 people.
“It started our sophomore year when we all lived in Mason-Abbot and Snyder-Phillips, or MASP. My friend, Jessica, is from Indiana and a university near her house was participating in a much smaller version of Humans vs. Zombies. She brought it up in our friend group and we decided we would try it out,” she said.
“Every single night there is a mission. This promotes players to participate not only in between classes, but also makes the game more fun,” she said.
Mazurie said that each player has his or her own identification code upon registering (each player has to be registered); therefore, no person can join the game after it has started.
“The humans win if they survive the whole week. The zombies win if they infect the entire campus,” she said.
Mazurie said Humans vs. Zombies is basically a “hardcore game of tag.”
“The administrators which include nine others and myself have created the rules specifically for MSU’s campus. The rules are adapted from the original Humans vs. Zombies rules, but tailored just for MSU,” she said.
Mazurie said the Humans vs. Zombies group works with the MSU police to ensure that the event is approved and safe.