Humans vs. Zombies: A McDaniel Twist on a College Sensation

Zombies and Nerf guns and running—oh my! This isn’t your regular game of tag. There are waivers and cardio but Humans vs. Zombies isn’t technically a sport. Nor is it a club that discusses the perks and downfalls of a zombie apocalypse. So what exactly is it?

“OSE has compared us to a rugby team before,” Humans vs. Zombies President Brian Rose said. “That’s not true.”

Office of Student Engagement Assistant Director Lindsey Rumancik clarified that “however they want to define themselves is okay with me.”

“It’s just a game,” Rose said.

Humans vs. Zombies is a twist on a childhood pastime. Created almost 10 years ago at Goucher College before it spread to the Hill, the game has been adapted to suit our smaller campus.

Rose, a junior, explained that unlike the original version of the game that required zombies to infect as many humans as possible, the McDaniel version involves an additional piece of several objectives that the humans have to complete.

“Build this, find this, solve a puzzle, run from here to there without dying,” Rose explained.

The teams are picked at a meeting the night before each mission and on the day of the mission, the fun begins. Humans are given their objectives. Zombies are set loose, starting at a different location. Most games take place outside on various athletic fields. The first game of last semester, one of the largest recent games with 85 participants, took place on the golf course. Missions in Lewis Hall tend to be popular and the club plans to have one occur every two or three missions each semester.

The missions aren’t free-for-alls. The players all sign waivers. Each game has a set of eight or nine moderators that ensure the players are safe.

“Everyone in the club knows that if they see someone unfamiliar they should let us know.” Rose said.

Despite alternate structure of the game, the club has a steady stream of members. Most meetings involve 30 to 40 members while the biweekly missions themselves regularly have up to 60 people. Junior Nick Tuori, the Head Moderator, explained that Humans vs. Zombies built a large following his freshman year and “then after that it sort of just snowballed.”

Tuori went on to explain that several freshman have stated, “that our presence on campus was one of the reasons they chose McDaniel over another school.”

The group has been invited to play several games at UMBC and has sparked a positive image that has spread beyond the views of campus. As interest continues to grow, the club continues to thrive. If you would like to try your hand Humans vs. Zombies, there are meetings every Friday at 6 p.m. in Decker Auditorium.