As week two closes, Zombies vanquish Humans


Preston Davis

Players prep for the final battle with Nerf blasters at the ready.

By Preston Davis, [email protected]

The only thing standing between humanity’s societal remains and the impending zombie menace was wits, agility, and of course a trusty Nerf blaster. Such was the dilemma for the last bastion of survivors in the fall 2016 Humans versus Zombies game at The University of Akron.

In a game that lasted two weeks, the human population was slowly whittled down before the final victims succumbed to the overwhelming numbers of shambling undead.

Zombies didn’t actually devour the flesh of the living on campus, but students may have observed fellow classmates wearing yellow bandanas on their heads, denoting their status as a zombie.

Humans brandishing Nerf dart blasters cautiously walked campus with a yellow bandana around their arm, eyes darting back and forth, scanning crowds for a potential threat. Humans versus Zombies, or HvZ, is a popular game played on many campuses in America.

The game mechanics are simple. The players are divided into humans and zombies. Humans are armed with Nerf dart blasters or something equally innocuous and need to survive two weeks without being converted into a zombie.

The zombies’ goal is to tag humans, who then convert to Zombies in increasingly large numbers on campus. Wily humans with a steady aim and nerves of steel can “stun” zombies by shooting them with the nerf blasters, temporarily incapacitating them.

Inside buildings, parking decks, and other select structures on campus are not part of the game, and players can only engage the opposition outside and without disrupting non-players.

The game started on Monday, Sept. 26 with a set game length of two weeks, or until all the humans were consumed. The zombies were eventually successful in their rampage of the living, clenching victory.

Malachi Miller, organizer and moderator of the event, cites the zombies hunting lone humans in large groups as a determining factor. A magazine full of Nerf darts can only stretch survival so far against a mob of determined zombies.

In between day-to-day survival of traversing campus, humans have the option of completing missions that specify certain conditions to be met.

The final day of the extended event, human population was non-existent and zombies were awarded the victory. As a result, the players that assembled for one last day of play formed an impromptu mission set with both sides armed with blasters.

The final game became a grueling game of capture the flag. With questionable strategies employed by both sides, the game boiled down into a war of attrition.

Some may have a problem with Nerf blasters on campus, but the student organization HvZ has worked with campus police to ensure a safe environment for all participants and other students.

The blasters are brightly colored and shoot soft foam darts with a soft pop. Miller states, “We do all these things because we want to provide a platform for students that enjoy [either] Nerf, being active, or both, to engage with other students with similar interests. We try to have fun and promote teamwork in all our games to create a community of students that have a unique interest in Nerf.”

For those still hesitant about the game, give it a shot. If you never chased your friends with a Nerf blaster when you were young, a vital part of your childhood is missing. There is something suitably ridiculous and harmlessly silly about launching foam darts with ambiguous accuracy. If you feel like a kid while dodging foam darts from someone firing a Nerf-bow at you, you’re doing it right.
For information on upcoming games and a detailed explanation of the rules, please go to