A total of 43 students signed up for a chance to be the last survivor. The winner of either category would receive season one of The Walking Dead and a prize that differed depending on whether the winner was the last surviving human or the zombie with the most kills.
Humans vs. Zombies is basically a glorified game of tag. Rather than becoming “it,” a tagged person simply joined the mass of living dead.
To keep track of who was a zombie and who was still a human, each person registered was given an ID card with a code on it. When he or she was tagged by a zombie, the human would give it the card and the zombie would enter the code number into the website. That person would then be listed as a zombie online and any kills he or she got would be recorded there. Kills were recorded through the cards given out to everyone at the start of the game.
The entire campus was the playing field, but academic and residential buildings were safe zones. The tunnels, however, and any open areas were fair game for zombies to tag humans.
To identify each other, players wore bandanas on their arms. After being tagged, the bandanas would be worn on the players’ heads. Bandanas had to be worn and visible at all times during the game. The only players not wearing bandanas were “original zombies.” These players were sophomore Eric Armbrust and senior Dylan Davison, who is also president of the campus activities board (CAB).
Players could conceal their bandanas by wearing shirts, sweatshirts, or coats underneath their bandanas that matched in color. When being pursued by a zombies, human players were allowed to throw socks at them. Being hit by a sock meant a zombie had to wait 15 minutes before they could tag anyone.
While this might not sound too serious, zombie players who did not feed by tagging a human player within 48 hours were eliminated from the game. Zombie players who wished to support their teammates could “feed” other players when registering their kills, resetting their time limit.
Armbrust brought the idea of doing this event to CAB, thinking it would be fun for students to try. With their help, Humans vs. Zombies was properly advertised, and rules were discussed with public safety and residential life. Some changes had to be made, such as making dormitories off limits to tagging and not allowing Nerf guns on campus.
Originally, Armbrust thought the prize would be cash, and each person playing would put a dollar in the pot. Since that was not allowed, he changed the prizes to a $50 bookstore gift card to the human winner, and the zombie winner got a zombie beanie and a trophy that would be on display in the CAB office for the next winner to sign.
More information about Humans vs. Zombies can be found at humansvszombies.org.