Zombies return to UAF

Joshua Fessey / Sun Star

The Zombies at UAF club will host the third annual Humans v. Zombies augmented reality game on campus, which is expected to run from Sunday until Oct. 4.

First started at Groucher college in 2005, Humans vs Zombies has since gone international, being played on 650 colleges campuses across the world this year. Games have been

Twins Koto Ellis (left) and Erin Ellis (right) run towards a safe spot at the Gruening building on Sunday afternoon. Certain spots in front of building are safe spots, where humans can not be tagged by humans. - Katherine Stark / Sun Star

Twins Koto Ellis (left) and Erin Ellis (right) run towards a safe spot at the Gruening building on Sunday afternoon. Certain spots in front of building are safe spots, where humans can not be tagged by zombies. – Katherine Stark / Sun Star

played on every continent except Antarctica and received prominent press coverage from the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, the Associated Press and The Colbert Report, which named them the number one threat to America, according to the Humans vs Zombies website.

The game was first played on the UAF campus in 2012, and was held in the fall for the first time last year. Most players begin with an orange bandana on their arm, signifying that they are “human” players.  The game begins when a few players are assigned the role of “original zombie.”  Their mission is to tag people, trying to “kill” the humans and grow their zombie horde.  Anyone who is tagged moves their bandana onto their forehead to show that they have become a zombie.

This year, the UAF game includes a whole new currency, the Dosh, as well as a digital banking system. The currency can be earned by successfully completing new story missions, and can be exchanged for very important items, such as special abilities and special items as they become available throughout the course of the game.
The game may end before the final battle if the zombies fail to tag a human for 48 hours, or if the zombies tag every human.
Organizers expect 200-300 players to participate in the game this year.  There is no prize for survival, although there are prizes awarded for exceptional gameplay and sportsmanship. The goal of the game is to go out there and make new friends and enjoy a break away from the hustle and bustle of schoolwork, according to Arsh Chauhan, president of the Zombies at UAF club.

“Personally, I’m most excited for the story line and the new in-game currency. We have never had a story in mind while planning any of previous games,” said Chauhan, president of the Zombies at UAF club, which runs the game. Chauhan is also leading the team that plans and moderates the game.

What originally started as a game of tag with nerf guns has evolved into a complex game with changing features like special abilities for humans and zombies, as well as a new in-game currency. The number one rule of Humans vs Zombies is “Don’t be a Douchebag.” This is the clause that allows moderators to enforce rules about questionable zombie tags or nerf shots and issue bans if necessary.

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