To many the word “gamer” conjures up images of people sitting around a table or in front of a tv/computer screen. However, there is another type of gaming that is often forgotten: live-action gaming. Live-action games have players actually act out the actions of their characters. Humans vs Zombies (HvZ) is one example of a live-action roleplaying game, and one that is highly athletic.
The game was invented by two students, Chris Weed and Brad Sappington, at Goucher College in 2005, and was played mainly on campus. With the rise of Facebook, the game spread virally across the internet. In 2011 the infection reached Newfoundland when a MUN student name Ryan Dillon decided to plan his own event on Facebook. Initially, the event was meant to be private but was accidentally made public. The response was overwhelming, with at least 60 people attending the event. With this first event, HvZ NL was born. Although Ryan has since moved on, the group is now run by a dedicated group of committee members. This committee has done a great job of adding their own creative touches to the game.
The rules of HvZ are very similar to tag and should be easy for anyone to learn. I should note that the game rules do vary depending on who is running the game, and that I will be describing the rules used by HvZ NL. To play the game all you need is a foam dart blaster (commonly called Nerf blasters, and must be brightly colored), a bandanna, and “hatred for zombies”. Most players will start the game as a human, with one player being chosen to be the zombie (marked by wearing a bandanna). However, there will soon be many zombies, since when the zombie tags a human they become a zombie. This player must turn in their blaster and wear a bandanna to indicate they are now a zombie. So what chance do the humans have? Well they are still armed with their trusty blasters. Unfortunately, these zombies are not only fast, they are tough. When hit by a foam dart the zombies will go down on one knee for 50 seconds, but then they are back in the game. The odds are against the humans, but even if you do get captured you aren't out of the game. Now you get to be a zombie and chase down more humans. Once most people have been turned into zombies the game ends.
Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Well the HvZ NL committee members have come up with a few twists to keep things interesting. One of those is the addition of missions and storylines to the game. In general, these involve non-player-characters (NPCs) characters played by the committee themselves. In one scenario NPCs were pulled from different points in history to combat the zombie menace. In another the humans had to contend with a organized group of NPCs that had access to a zombie cure, but weren't particularly friendly to the humans or zombies. The potential for advancement was also added in the form of rewards for winning teams. For example, the last team surviving humans might win an extra life ribbon to be worn for the next game (would need to be tagged twice). If you like a story, don't worry, HvZ NL has what you crave.
HvZ NL holds their events every second month, with their final event of 2012 planned for the 24th of November. You can get more details on this event on our events page. You can also learn more about the group on their Facebook page or contact them email.
***Important: This event is for ages 16+***