Nerf darts have been flying around Geneseo for several days now; the zombies have invaded. More accurately, the plague has finally come and crazy conspiracy theorists have been justified, in a foam-dart sort of way.
Humans versus Zombies, or HVZ as many lazy college students are calling it, began in 2005 at Goucher College and has since swept campuses throughout the nation, including RIT, University of Washington, Wake Forest University and Ithaca College.
Last Friday, the competition kicked off at Geneseo, fueled by the enthusiastic participation of nearly 400 students.
The game-play is simple: humans (or "Resistance") carry Nerf guns and swords and wear armbands. Any hit from a Nerf weapon elicits a stun, previously 15 minutes but now cut to five, on the zombie who is tagged. Zombies, on the other hand, simply have to touch a human in order to turn them into an undead brain-eater.
There were four headband-clad zombies to begin with, compared to the massive contingent of armed and arm-banded humans. Zombie hordes, however, expanded quickly and, due in large part to zombie hunts that occurred on Saturday night, the horde quickly grew to over 100 participants.
Student reaction has generally been positive. "I love it," said junior Chris Uihlein. "I haven't seen students this involved in any activity since I've been here."
"There's nothing quite like running around in the dark … with Nerf guns … and your friends … shooting zombies," said junior Peter O'Brien.
Several "zombies" said they were similarly enthused. "I've basically met really cool people this week while chasing humans and eating their brains," said junior B.J. Goehle.
"Some people look at us like we're so dumb, but we're actually rad!" junior Katie Rude yelled while she chased an unfortunate victim.
Not everyone, however, has taken to the game with such gusto.
"I think it has a lot more probability to cause problems than it is actually fun," said junior Nick Duell. "I've heard more negative things than positive and it serves as a distraction on campus."
Duell added, "There's the possibility that people could be attacked wrongfully. Someone's mom was tackled over the weekend. It would work better on a smaller scale."
Whatever the view on Humans versus Zombies is, it's obviously one of the most popular fads to sweep our campus; bringing to mind such past examples of students banding together as the fervor over the election of President Barack Obama or the infamous "Tree Night" of last year.