PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh students who don’t have an emergency survival plan may want to devise one quickly — the zombies attack this week.
From Monday through Thursday, the college’s campus will turn into a feeding ground for the walking dead, as SUNY Plattsburgh’s Zombie Defense League will host the school’s first Humans vs. Zombies competition.
The moderated tag game, which originated at Goucher College in Baltimore in 2005, has been played at campuses and military bases and in neighborhoods all over the world.
“I think it’s really a celebration of the energy young people bring,” said Becky Kasper, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and faculty adviser to the Zombie Defense League at SUNY Plattsburgh.
For the most part, the college will follow the game rules suggested by Gnarwhal Studios, a company that provides free support to those who host and participate in the competitions.
When the challenge kicks off on Monday, all participants will be humans, with the exception of one, who will be designated as the “original zombie.”
The original zombie will attempt to create additional zombies by “feeding on,” or tagging, human competitors. Once a
human has become a zombie, he or she must tag and transform another human within 48 hours, or he or she will “starve” and be out of the competition.
The zombies will be declared the winners if they are able to transform all participants into walking dead. The humans will win if they can avoid being tagged long enough for every zombie to starve.
MARKED BY BANDANNAS
All participants will be given a red bandanna to wear around their arm or leg and an identification number, which they must write on an index card and carry with them during the game. When humans are tagged by a zombie, they must move the bandannas to around their heads and relinquish their index cards to their attacker.
In order to prove they have “eaten” humans, zombies must go online and file the identification numbers of their victims on a website created by Gnarwhal Studios to track individual competitions.
Humans may carry rolled-up socks, which they can throw at zombies to “stun” them. When a zombie is hit by a sock, he or she is out of the game for 15 minutes.
While some Humans vs. Zombies competitions allow participants to carry NERF guns to shoot at and stun zombies, such devices will not be allowed in SUNY Plattsburgh’s version of the game.
The college has also ruled that game play, which will carry on for the four-day period, must take place only on campus and will be off limits in or near roadways and inside all campus buildings, so as not to interfere with academic endeavors.
“It’s all very harmless and playful,” Kasper said.
The Zombie Defense League, a club created for campus zombie enthusiasts, has worked closely with college officials and campus police in planning the event.
The intent, according to Kasper, is to give students something fun to engage in outside of their academic and work lives and provide them the opportunity to interact with people whom they might not otherwise.
“As everyone probably knows, there’s not a lot to do for students, and you’ve got to have outlets that are healthy and fun.
“I think that builds community among the students,” she said.
In addition, Kasper noted, zombies have become a cultural fad, as they are the topic of many recent movies, television shows and novels.
The game is open to all of the college’s students, as well as faculty and staff.
While Humans vs. Zombies is not expected to interfere with the daily lives of those not participating in the competition, it’s possible that members of the public who are on or near campus during game play may see humans being “eaten” or zombies being “stunned.”
Some players may be dressed in costumes, Kasper said.
The Zombie Defense League will hold signups for members of the campus community who wish to participate in the Humans vs. Zombies competition at 4 p.m. today in the Amnesty Room of the Angell College Center. The college has set a cap of 250 players.
Email Ashleigh Livingston:
firstname.lastname@example.orgTO LEARN MORE For more information about Gnarwhal Studios' Humans vs. Zombies game, visit humansvszombies.org.