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Friday, January 15, 2021

Life + Arts

Interactive game infects campus


The UH campus can be seen full of students running around with bright colors, plastic swords and toy guns after school hours. | Robert Z. Easley/The Daily Cougar

The UH campus can be seen full of students running around with bright colors, plastic swords and toy guns after school hours. | Robert Z. Easley/The Daily Cougar

A green bandana wrapped around one’s neck takes on a completely different meaning at the University of Houston.

Members of the newly minted Cougar Urban Gaming Society are currently participating in the worldwide, interactive game Humans vs. Zombies. HvZ lasts an entire week; it began Monday and ends on Friday.

A student who wears a bandana around the head or neck signifies a zombie, while a student who displays a bandana surrounding the arm or leg is a human.

HvZ includes several missions and various objectives that begin each day at 6 a.m., when vaccines that protect you from succumbing to the zombie apocalypse are released. If a human participant does not find one of these vaccines, then he or she becomes a zombie.

The missions usually begin in the evening. Success or failure on the previous day’s mission determines the number of vaccines, which are released the following day.

The yellow tape that surrounds the campus either on the ground or across a building symbolizes a safe zone.

Army veteran and history major Michael Headberg — an aspiring pilot — is well prepared to fend for himself and survive a zombie apocalypse. He wears a weapon’s vest that houses his two plastic Nerf guns and wields a plastic sword to ensure that the zombies remain at bay.

Headburg said women who are ardent Team Edward supporters are more inclined to date a human.

“The rotting kind of makes it not like a ‘Twilight’ thing. Zombies are a lot less sexy when they have festering wounds,” he said.

Headburg eventually fell victim and became a zombie in the middle of the week.

HvZ is popular hobby that is thriving on college campuses across the country. According to Humansvszombies.org, the game has been profiled by several different news organizations including NPR, The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post.

Harry Nguyen is a veteran HvZ player who enjoys participating.

“This would be my third time playing, first time on this campus,” Nguyen said.

“They hold (Human vs. Zombies) all over the world in (many countries). It spread to other schools and slowly moved farther and farther away,” he said.

Nguyen enjoys the interactive qualities that HvZ brings to a college campus.

“It’s a way to meet people. There’s not a lot of people interested in zombies,” Nguyen said.

The final mission on Friday saw a victory for the zombies, as the humans were unable to successfully complete the mission. They were cornered and ultimately forced to join the ranks of the undead. According to Headburg, the humans were outnumbered 3-1.

Although zombies may be an unpleasant sight to see, it was considered to be a good thing at UH last week.

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