Students survive, participate in zombie apocalypse at MSU
When Dan Snyder woke up Monday morning, he got ready for class with rolled up socks, a few Nerf guns and an orange bandana in tow. These are his essentials as a human hoping to make it through this week’s zombie apocalypse on campus.
“I’ve always had the idea that I’d be able to survive a zombie apocalypse,” the international relations junior said. “This is my way of acting out that scenario.”
Snyder is one of an estimated 700 MSU students participating in the third MSU Humans vs. Zombies game that began Monday and continues through its final mission on Saturday night, according to the group’s Facebook page. The game is common on college campuses and consists of teams of “humans” and “zombies” trying to take each other out to win the game.
1. The game is only played between the hours of 7 a.m. and midnight.
2. A player who shoots a nonplayer can be removed from the game.
3. The game only can be played on campus and in buildings, and any form of transportation is off-limits.
4. When a zombie is “stunned,” they are out of play for 15 minutes and must move their bandana around their neck during that period.
5. After tagging a human, a zombie must report their “kill” within three hours to the game’s moderators.
Students are assigned to be humans or zombies at the start of the game, with the zombie’s aim to make the humans extinct by the end of the week.
The humans wear bandanas on their forearms and use Nerf guns and rolled up socks as fake grenades to stun zombies, Snyder said. In turn, zombies wear bandanas around their heads and try to turn humans into zombies by tagging them. Missions take place throughout the game to incite contact between the two species, Snyder said.
“It’s a bunch of college kids running around on campus and shooting each other with Nerf guns,” he said. “I can’t see why that wouldn’t be popular.”
The first game at MSU took place in fall 2010 and quickly has gained a following, Snyder said. The group of players has tried to play the game every semester since.
Anthropology sophomore Ben Johnson had similar thoughts, as the game makes going to class more exciting with the chance of being turned into a zombie en route.
“It’s a good break from the monotony,” Johnson said.
Besides running around campus and playing with Nerf guns, many players say the game is more mature than it seems.
“(There’s an) immediate sense of camaraderie you gain when you see someone else playing,” Snyder said.
Many players said they found a sense of unity during the game because often they have to rely on complete strangers to win.
Snyder said he has been able to act out his inner child while also being able to find his own sense of individuality.
“We all know what we’re doing is slightly ridiculous, and we still do it regardless,” he said.
While nonplayers have to deal with darting students, some students have enjoyed being on the sideline.
Advertising freshman Alicia Vignoe said while she would be too paranoid to play the game, she enjoys watching her friends play — especially because they are so easy to scare.
“It’s hilarious, and I’m glad MSU puts something on like this,” Vignoe said.