By Guadalupe Pinedo
After its two-year hiatus, Humans vs. Zombies is an official club at Cal Poly Pomona, which has brought the zombie apocalypse to campus.
The simulated zombie apocalypse first took off in 2011. Played as a weeklong game of tag, groups of students participate as either humans or zombies. The game begins with an “original zombie,” who then infects as many participants as he or she can. All members start off as humans trying to survive, but once “eaten,” the zombies must “feed” every 46 hours.
According to Kevin Jiang, president of the club, the concept of Humans vs. Zombies came from a student in the Residence Halls.
The event originated on campus and had 1,100 students signed up to partake in the game. Once students around campus learned about the event through word of mouth, finding members was not a difficult task.
“It kind of exploded after that,” says Jiang.
Humans vs. Zombies is open to anyone who is part of the CPP community. While most members are students, the game is also open to faculty and alumni. Alumni wishing to participate can do so in a limited role. They are only allowed to return for missions.
Travis Loie (’15, kinesiology) remains a part of the club and participates in the event. According to Loie, even though he graduated, he is still on campus often taking part in scrimmages and games.
“I participated in three games before they became a club, and I was a member of the club from the start,” said Loie.
Missions require humans and zombies to meet at specific locations on specific dates and times. Moderators, who run the game, will describe tasks to each group of players.
Apart from running the game, moderators are responsible for filing paperwork with the school and locating funding through sponsors. Moderators are in charge of writing the plot for each game, maintaining the Humans vs. Zombies website, building props and handling issues within the group.
Although the event was in demand, loss of funding from the school forced organizers to shut down the event for two years.
“I think the reason they cut it was for the BRIC. They had to find funding for the BRIC somewhere, so they cut a few things including [Human vs. Zombies],” said Jiang.
In order to secure funding, Humans vs. Zombies registered as a club. With the newly rebooted Humans vs. Zombies and the rest of the club, officials are planning on having one game per year.
Humans vs. Zombies is not like other clubs on campus. It doesn’t have official meetings each week like most clubs at CPP. Its only form of contact is through email and the occasional “scrimmage.” New members are taught the rules of the game and how to play at the hour-long practices.
All meetings are not mandatory, and you can chose when you want to participate. Members are issued an ID with a code that allows them to log into the club’s website. This will track members’ “feeds” and will also keep track of when someone is “turned” into a zombie.
Human participants can feed up to four zombies before they are turned into zombies themselves. They have a turn time of 15 minutes.
“In past experience, a lot of humans will try to give away as much information as they can before they switch sides,” said Jiang.
Bandanas are handed out to all members in order to distinguish who is a human and who is a zombie. Humans must wear their bandanas on their forearm. Zombies will either wear them on their foreheads or around their necks.
For some members of the club, meeting new people is what makes the experience entertaining and worthwhile.
“It’s a way to get to know people you probably wouldn’t normally get to know, and through the game you can create friendships that will last you a long time and memories through the game,” says Loie.
As time has gone by, more students have discovered Humans vs. Zombies and have become interested in joining.
Wendy Contreras, a fifth-year animal health science student, said she found out about Humans vs. Zombies on her way to class during her first year.
“I want to join because it looks really fun. Looking at the scientific aspect of it, it shows how patient zero can spread the disease in a matter of hours,” said Contreras.
According to some members, Clubs like Humans vs. Zombies provide students with an escape from the stress of classes, grades and homework.
“I love these clubs because it gives you something else than studying and being stressed out from classes. I would definitely take it to keep my mind busy from something else. School isn’t all about classes and being stressed out,” says Contreras.
Melina Orantes / The Poly Post
Humans vs. Zombies
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