You’ve heard about it, perhaps even seen it in action, but all you know is it is sweeping college campuses like a plague. What exactly is Humans vs Zombies? Let’s start with a little history.

History of HvZ

The first game of Humans vs Zombies dates back to 2005. It took place at a Goucher College, where it was invented by Brad Sappington and Chris Weed. At Goucher College the game had become a quick success, as students quickly spread news of the game over the internet and word of mouth. You could say it spread like a plague.  Now jumping 5 years after its advent to the present, Humans vs Zombies has infected over 200 campuses, including other establishments such as military bases, high schools, and summer camps. It even has been mentioned on the popular show “The Colbert Report.”

Humans vs Zombies Rules

Humans vs Zombies is a game played much like tag. There are two teams, the zombies and humans. The zombie team starts with one lone zombie, who’s only goal is to infect (tag) as many humans as possible, and must tag a human every 48 hours or die of starvation. All zombies wear bandannas or some kind of marking to distinguish themselves as a zombie.

To defend themselves, Humans are equipped with Nerf guns or balled up socks. Zombies are only eliminated from the game by starving. Instead, when they are hit by a Nerf dart, or hit with a balled up sock, the are stunned for 15 minutes. Whenever a Human is tagged by a zombie they become a zombie. For Humans to win, all zombies must starve to death.

Setting Up a Game

The creators of Humans vs Zombies have created a guide to starting a game(they deleted it) in your area. This guide covers:

  • Planning your game – Making a calendar, setting up missions and managing game length
  • Writing a plot – Optional, but adds to the fun
  • Hosting your game online – Options for running your game
  • Advertising – How to market your game and register players

If you plan on hosting this game on a college campus, necessary actions need to be taken to ensure the game is a success. Sure, you could always throw up a game of HvZ in a day, but be ready for resistance from campus staff, especially when they see fools running around with Nerf guns outside their classroom. Needless to say, you should exercise certain precautions before battles break out in the library and Nerf guns get banned by your campus.  Before any game is started though, you should at least discuss a couple of things:

  • Set Safe Zones – Do you want to get infected while on the crapper? How about while doing a layup in a varsity basketball game?
  • Boundaries – If a Human makes a break for Mexico, would that be fair?
  • Modified Nerf Guns – How powerful is too powerful for a Nerf gun? People will modify their Nerf guns for this game, you better believe it!
  • What Will Distinguish Zombies – How will humans be able to tell who is a zombie, and visa versa? Will everyone where certain colored headbands, armbands, or custom shirts?
  • How You Will Keep Track – It is important you find a way to keep track of how many zombies and humans are left in the game.

These are the minimal boundaries you should set to ensure a fun and most importantly, fair game.

Humans vs Zombies Documentary Video

Here’s a documentary charting a game of Humans vs Zombies at Ball State University. As you’ll see it is without doubt a fun game to play, one that gets more enjoyable and epic as more participate.

If a game has yet to take place in your area, get one started! All it takes is a hopeful leader to get an event going, and a bunch of zombie movie buffs to further spread the world.

Now go spread the infection :)