Club spotlight: Humans vs. Zombies

by Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer

Two students sprint out over the quad on a sunny day, panting and laughing with excitement.

One of them sporting a green bandana, the other holding a nerf launcher: a typical day during one of the many games the Humans vs. Zombies club holds at UMass Dartmouth.

Continuing for its fifth year now, the Humans vs. Zombies Club hosts what is described as the most ultimate form of tag.

With over 130 members on MyOrgs, the club often sees about 100 active members at each game, with each game being a nice, successful break from the studying and the stress of college.

For every academic year, the Humans vs. Zombies club holds about four games, or two per semester.

The events feature different game types such as capture the flag, protection, focusing on teamwork, strategy, communication, and player interaction. The priority is to have the games be player-led and focused.

Each game starts with all the players as human with one original zombie, whose identity is unknown. The original then goes around infecting other players until eventually battles begin between the humans and zombies.

While the game goes on for twenty-four hours a day all during the week in which it is held, there are also special missions that are the capture the flag and protection missions.

The missions were held at night for the weekdays, starting after 6:30 p.m. For the weekends, the missions were held during the daytime, scheduled around class time.

Consistently, games in the past have had at least fifty members per match, and during Maria Urbina’s current reign as the club’s president, there was a match “with as many as a 100 people.”

Urbina also commented on the community, saying that “just in general (they are) such an accepting group of people.”

The games are run by admins, members of the club who volunteer to organize the events, run the missions, deal with rules, enforce them, and react to sudden changes and do everything they can to make sure it all runs smoothly.

The club has been around since at least 2012, with a history of over four years, Urbina stated.

The current president has been around since 2014, starting as a first year student. She then joined the eboard, and consistently dedicates her time to the club, as it is something she believes is worthwhile.

Now, however, the club has barely thirty participants per game, and Urbina has noted that despite the continued membership on their myOrgs page, people have not displayed as much interest.

The cause of this decline is the campus ban on the nerf launchers, which was deemed unsafe for the club and unfit for further use.

The nerf launchers had an impact on participation, and what was seen as a draw for the games and good attraction is now removed from the game.

In the face of all this, Urbina and the club remained optimistic, saying that this was only a minor setback.

The club still holds games and works as hard as they can to make sure the current games are as fun as possible.

Testing out new missions and new ideas, as well as running through rule changes in order to excite the game, they were also looking for something else to replace the launchers and bring back excitement for the game.

And as always, there was still what had drawn Urbina and many others like her to the club: their love of zombies,  fun, and “a very cooperative group of people.”

For anyone who may be interested in Humans vs. Zombies and wants to find out more, they can reach out to Maria Urbina through email or visit the group’s Facebook page, “Humans vs. Zombies at UMass Dartmouth”.

The next game is scheduled for November 27 through December 3 and all are welcome to join.

Photo Courtesy: HVZ UMass Dartmouth


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