Humans vs. Zombies Joins the Area 51 Raid

By Brooke Zucco

Students had a choice to join the Karens, the Kyles, the Naruto Runners or Ohio’s Corn Kazoo Division at Youngstown State University for the Humans vs. Zombies Weekvitational Sept. 25 through 28.

Although these are separate teams, there was one main goal for this year’s HvZ event: raid Area 51.

The event is run by YSU’s Urban Gaming Club. Meredith Pallo, a senior telecommunications major and president of the club, discussed why the theme was Area 51.

“We plan for the event like three months in advance, and that was when the Area 51 meme was started,” Pallo said. “So, we decided since the raid was planned for [Sept. 20], we’d just theme the game to fit in with it.”

“The idea is that the humans are the soldiers trying to protect Area 51, and the zombies are the millennials trying to get in,” she added.

HvZ is a game of tag where players use Nerf guns, referred to as blasters, and socks to fight off zombie hoards. Zombies must make full hand contact with humans in order to turn them into a zombie.

Teams are identified by how members they wear their orange bandanas. Humans wear them on their biceps while zombies wear them on their heads.

Some students have been playing HvZ for as long as they have been at YSU. Michael Wildman, a part-time information technology major, has been playing for eight semesters.

“During my first semester, I died on the first day,” Wildman said. “I kept playing even as a zombie because it was fun either way, but I was able to be the third to last survivor the next semester.”

Wildman attributes part of his success to playing with spherical darts rather than the traditional ones.

“I use them because they’re better for accuracy, but they cost a lot more than the regular darts,” Wildman said.

Students concerned about getting hit with darts while walking through campus did not have to worry, as players who did not attend a rules and safety meeting were not able to play.

Players like Nick Rauschenbach see HvZ as a way to combat semester stress.

“In college, you try to act really serious,” he said. “[HvZ] is a good way to blow off steam and not take yourself so seriously for a while.”

Rauschenbach is a student from Eastern Gateway Community College planning on transferring to YSU next semester. Despite not being a YSU student yet, he always comes to play HvZ.

This year’s event has started something new in the way the game is played. The games are normally a week long, consisting of students from YSU, or an invitational, which is an event that occurs over a weekend and sees students from other universities coming to play.

For the Weekvitational, there was a combination of the two.

The Weekvitational is a new idea for the HvZ community of Northeast Ohio. During the week, the game is played by YSU students, but the weekend games greet students from other universities.