Humans vs. Zombies has been a success on campus for the last three years. Since the first year, the growth has been steady. This semester ties with last semester as the largest groups to have played the game.
“We’ve had fluctuation in those who want to play,” said senior youth ministry major Jon DeMattia, “but generally we’ve increased in player base over the last three years.”
Demattia is one of the members of Alpha Psi Omega (APO) who help to run the game. Specifically, he is in charge of the HvZ website and writing the missions.
Demattia said the game’s popularity comes from the love of competition at a campus-wide level.
Senior intervention specialist education major Kayla Tonneas, a moderator for the game, said that the game is popular because “the missions can be really intense.” Also, zombies have carved out a spot for themselves in popular culture these days.
Demattia foresees the growth of the game as a “gradual growth” and not something that is going to happen overnight. Every semester the game either breaks even on players or increases.
When breaking down who plays, the freshmen are the dominating class demographic.
“I don’t really know why it works out that way,” Demattia said.
The missions also provide a sort of “reality game” type aspect to HvZ. Each side competes towards finishing an objective, and the winning side receives a reward for doing so. The draw for the missions is that you are actively participating with all the players on your side in an attempt to gain an advantage over the opposing team.
“I started playing three semesters ago, mainly because a lot of my guy friends wanted me to play,” junior Spanish major Krista Belter said.
Both Tonneas and Demattia both said they mainly gain their player base by word of mouth.
This is the first year that APO has completely backed the game. The next game of Humans vs. Zombies is tentatively set for next semester.
Jacob Holman is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.