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December 7, 2016

Chill out, HvZ players

We’ve all seen it – the hordes of red bandana-clad students scurrying around campus with their toy guns, yelling and signaling to each other and coordinating attacks. Humans vs. Zombies, the popular college game has returned to the University of Massachusetts Amherst yet again this semester, and it is still just as annoying as ever.

I understand that people have a lot of fun playing the game and I realize that it has come to be known as a staple of college life at many universities across the United States. But, despite its widespread popularity, I can’t say I look at it all that favorably.

I don’t see the appeal in running around campus all day looking like a fool with a piece of cloth tied around my head. I don’t understand how the people who play this game tirelessly don’t have better things to do.

We’re in college now – we have classes and homework and should be in the slow process of transitioning to adulthood. Now is not the time to be shooting one another in the head with foam darts and causing a scene. Don’t you have obligations of some kind to tend to? How would it look in the real world if a bunch of 25 year-olds were running around Boston playing with Nerf guns and sprinting through the streets? It would be intrusive, annoying and very distracting – just like it is now.

It’s not like Humans vs. Zombies is a self-contained game either – far from it. The game disrupts people who are simply trying to get to their next class or go to the dining hall. I’m tired of being pushed aside by sprinting “zombies” while I’m walking around campus. I’m sick of walking somewhere at night and having groups of people charge at me assuming that I’m playing their childish game (these kinds of things have happened to me quite a bit over the last week). If you’re going to play, do us all a favor and make sure you’re not tackling innocent people or shooting your Nerf darts at students with their iPods on who are oblivious to your obscure game – the people who are not playing are avoiding it for a reason.

And aside from how intrusive the game is for all of the students not playing, imagine how it must look to the prospective students and families who have been visiting the campus. Is the first impression of UMass we want kids to have to be one with strangely-dressed teenagers scrambling after other strangely dressed teenagers with plastic guns? I think not. On Sunday, I was walking by the Student Union and a mob of “humans” were gathered around a person with a megaphone shouting “What do we want? Brains! What do we want? Brains!” While interesting and comical, such displays would not have attracted me to UMass as a high school student, and I think it really has the potential to turn a lot of other people off, too.

I’m not trying to levy a personal attack against the people who have chosen to play this game – I’m just saying that it wouldn’t hurt to tone down the intensity a little bit. I get that you’re just having a good time and that some people get really into it – but not everyone on campus shares your enthusiasm. My problem is not with the people playing the game; it is with the way the game itself is conducted.

The other night I was walking to Central when a person lunged out at me from a tree. I had my iPod on at the time and this sudden assault scared me half to death. That kind of thing is not okay, someone could think you were legitimately attacking them. Maybe it’s unwise to play this kind of game so late at night – if you can’t see whether or not someone is wearing an armband or a headband, you should probably call it a day (and maybe do some homework?). By running amuck and throwing yourself at the first person you see, you’re asking for trouble.

If you’re having a good time, then by all means keep playing. But I think it’s time you stopped taking yourself and this game so seriously – you don’t need to run around in packs and push and shove and make a ruckus. That kind of behavior isn’t very becoming of you, and it certainly isn’t appreciated by the general population. If you can’t take it down a notch and play in an unobtrusive manner, maybe this isn’t the kind of game you should be playing. Be respectful of your fellow students – you may be obsessed with Humans vs. Zombies, but I can assure you that most people aren’t.

Dan Rahrig is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at drahrig@student.umass.edu.

Comments
27 Responses to “Chill out, HvZ players”
  1. Kevin says:

    “I’m not trying to levy a personal attack against the people who have chosen to play this game – I’m just saying that it wouldn’t hurt to tone down the intensity a little bit.”

    “I don’t see the appeal in running around campus all day looking like a fool with a piece of cloth tied around my head. I don’t understand how the people who play this game tirelessly don’t have better things to do.”

    oops

  2. Sam says:

    “I was walking by the Student Union and a mob of “humans” were gathered around a person with a megaphone shouting “What do we want? Brains! What do we want? Brains!””

    zombies?

  3. Scientific Nature of the Whammy says:

    It was only a matter of time before someone wrote the “I’m too cool for this and everyone who plays HvZ is not as cool as me” article.

  4. I love brains this much says:

    So the thing is, you’d rather just walk around campus with your headphones on being oblivious to the world around you? Is that fun? I can forego headphones for a week and a half for good ol’ fashion zombie hunting. And I can assure you, my day to day life is a good deal more exciting and fun because of it.

    Also, what’s wrong with something being a mite childish at times? It’s good ol’ fashion fun. Do you hate fun? I do sometimes, but only when I wish I was having it. And HvZ, well, there’s some good ol’ fashion fun right there. My advice: next semester register to play the game, and join us in what could be a life-altering experience. Or you hate fun. Then what? Well, at least you got some exercise running from the undead. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Exercising while the Recreation Center continues to delay opening? That’s what we’re all really mad about, isn’t it.

  5. Ryan says:

    His point is that you guys that play HvZ are annoying and you disrupt campus with your silly childish game. I’ve had some of the same experiences as Dan; you guys really do need to tone it down because the next “human” or “zombie” who throws something at me or tries to eat my brains is going to get a very real broken jaw.

  6. Kevin says:

    Ryan, I agree. The author’s story about someone lunging out of a tree toward him at night in central is a good example. Players should use common sense and realize that the game is second to the real world. However, I’ve heard way more stories of people who enjoy watching various fights and chases than that pop up spontaneously around campus than I’ve heard stories of annoyance, so I’d like to think that the majority of players are participating in a safe manner.

    My initial comment was just to show that although the author says he is only focused on safety concerns and has nothing personal against the players, he clearly has a personal grudge against the game as shown multiple times through the column.

  7. Twilight Wizard says:

    I am a player of the game HvZ and have been for years. It is a good example of people roleplaying to have fun. Everyone does do different things for fun. Some study, some hang with friends, some go out drinking and partying often, and some of us roleplay.

    I have seen much more problematic things on campus than a game that takes place for 1 and a half weeks a semester. While driving at around 12am a month ago, I almost ran over three drunk college girls who were obviously under the age of 21 and stumbling out into the middle of the street. They didn’t have the decency to even use a walk signal when crossing at the intersection, and when I beeped at them (I was halfway through the intersection with a GREEN LIGHT, they got all pissed off and started yelling. I think that drinking on campus is much more of a problem than a game that goes on for fun.

  8. Ed says:

    Lunging out of the bushes at random strangers – that is Code of Student Conduct II.B.1.b if not II.B.1.a – physical assault.

    Furthermore this isn’t an overly wise thing to do. Trust me.

    I know too many guys (and girls) who have been to places like Iraq (or other places not mentionable) and a stunt like this is a good way to wind up in a bodybag.

    Not everyone is thinking Human v. Zombie when someone comes lunging at them. I am quite certain that would be the last thought in *my* mind…

  9. Pac Man says:

    The author should either stick to saying the players are losers or say tone it down. He is trying to play the middle of the road, not trying to be a jerk and not trying to say the player’s aren’t nerds. Take a stand, Dan.

  10. muad'dib says:

    Yup, here’s the semesterly “HvZ is a childish game and I’m glad I don’t play” article. Dan, if a zombie tried to tag you despite your not playing, get their name and report them to the game administration. Also maybe to the UMass police. Then shaddup and let everyone have their fun.

    We’re adults now, and that means it’s our turn to decide what’s the “mature” thing to do.

  11. Nate says:

    Woe is me! I was bumped into by somebody moving quickly from one place to another for a purpose I do not support! I am going to hold this grudge until my last dying breath!

    Things I am constantly annoyed by but do not write a tear-soaked article about:

    People playing video games at 4am.
    People peeing in my hallway.
    People playing drinking games at the top of their lungs.
    People taking the elevator up 2 floors.
    Drunk idiots walking in the middle of the road at 2am when nobody can see them and then flipping you off when you have to swerve around them.
    People who write letters-to-the-editor complaining about the same thing YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR (oops).

  12. John says:

    @Twilight Wizard

    Really? You’re going to compare HvZ to drinking? If you’re going to compare HvZ to drinking on campus, then use a better example than you almost running people over at 12 AM, because that’s pretty much entirely your fault. The great thing about pedestrians is that they have the right of way, and leveling quick judgments against people (“…obviously under the age of 21”, really? How do you know that? You were in a car.) is just as bad as people making quick judgments about the people playing HvZ.

    Besides, where do you have to be at 12 AM that you can’t wait a few seconds for someone to cross the street? I can tell you that at 5 PM, I’m trying to get home from work, and dealing with the giant “showdowns” outside the Student Union is just as annoying, if not moreso, than a couple girls who take their time crossing the street at midnight.

  13. Louis L4D says:

    Heaven forbid college students have a bit of fun, meet new people, and get involved while they’re making their transition to adult hood.
    If he has negative feelings about this i only question what the writers opinions are on Football games and other collegiate social gatherings. Not to mention video games, tv, and other simple but fun activities.

  14. Mike says:

    John, you could not be more wrong.

    “Really? You’re going to compare HvZ to drinking? If you’re going to compare HvZ to drinking on campus, then use a better example than you almost running people over at 12 AM, because that’s pretty much entirely your fault. The great thing about pedestrians is that they have the right of way, and leveling quick judgments against people (”…obviously under the age of 21″, really? How do you know that? You were in a car.) is just as bad as people making quick judgments about the people playing HvZ.”

    Ever hear of a thing called “crosswalks”? They are the ONLY place a pedestrian is safe on the road. Can I walk down a highway and sue when someone hits me? Nope.

    And it’s pretty simple to determine who is underage and drunk while in a car. Just drive through Southwest on a Friday night.

  15. Feline Rumpenstein says:

    Ryan, do you realize no one will recognize you for your childish threats on this website? Someone playing HvZ may very well receive a courteous broken jaw from the baboon who is stupidly aloof to civility, but in the end it will be you that’s sent back to the jungle stamping and slapping your behind in protest. At least the large majority of us, in a similar situation, would be initially astonished at the appearence of an HvZ player trying to grope us, but personally I would laugh it off. They’re having a blast!

    Long live HvZ (from a non-HvZ player, but a supporter). I may not agree with whose brains you eat, but I’m be damned for your right to eat it.

  16. Vega says:

    I agree! Clearly your right to walk around peaceably with your iPod should trump other people’s right to enjoy themselves. You shouldn’t need to divert a single instant from your self absorption-no one has the right to divide your interest that way! We wouldn’t let football fans have loud, roudy parties, or tolerate them wandering back from games swizzled on beer, lurching at strangers and yelling slogans as loud as possible, so why should we let these little punks do the same? HVZ is extremely popular on my campus and I really feel that this sort of free-wheeling childish joy detracts from what any academic institution should be: A slowly measured pace from exhuberant, dreaming bliss to a grim, concrete-gray, and inescapable future. That’s what maturity is about: realizing that you are not allowed to dream or play, because someone might have to look up from their misery and see a colorful world they are missing. Thank you, Mr.Rahrig your commitment to hopelessness does us all proud.

  17. Gregg J says:

    I’m 51 and I would love to do something like this. Yes, I have better things to do sometimes, but a little fun never hurt anyone. Don’t rush into your adult life too quickly, because as Trace Adkins says, “You’re gonna miss this”.

  18. Jim says:

    “If a bunch of 25 year-olds were running around Boston playing with Nerf guns and sprinting through the streets,” I would be so happy.

  19. Reba says:

    We just finished up playing a game of HvZ at my college campus. This is the first year I’ve played and it was a lot of fun. Not only do you get some good exercise from running across campus everyday, you get a distraction from coursework and you get to meet new people. From what I’ve seen at my school, while a few people get annoyed by the game, non players generally enjoy watching us play. We often have groups of people watch us chase each other or who show up to watch missons.

    The writer of this article needs to lighten up. Yes, we’re college students, does this mean we are not allowed to have any fun? Games only last for a week normally. Chill out. Join the game. You might find the reason why so many enjoy playing it.

  20. Kate says:

    I really don’t understand the author’s sentiment. Is there an age limit on having fun? Calling it childish is intended to be condescending, but I couldn’t think of a better compliment. Life is tough and stressful – what’s wrong with running around having a good time to blow off steam? I would hate to get to the point in my life where I disapprove of people having fun, or expect them to have their noses to the grindstone every moment of the day. It’s unfortunate that it interfered with the writer’s life, especially someone jumping out at night – such things shouldn’t happen, and rules are in place to prevent them from happening. If it happens, report it, and it will stop happening. Easy. Anyway, I would much rather run around looking like a fool and having fun than complain about the fun other people are having. The writer is the one who should chill out.

  21. Chris says:

    If you want to talk about annoying things on campus, talk about the numerous loud, destructive and sometimes violent drunk students running around on weekends (and sometimes during the week). I am sometimes annoyed by getting hit by stray nerf bullets, but if I had to choose I would rather be hit by some foam than have my sleep disrupted all night and/or wake up to trash in my hall and papers and bulletin boards torn down.

  22. Ivan DeWilde says:

    We’ve all seen it – the hordes of press-badge clad students scurrying around campus with their toy notebooks and pencils, yelling and signaling to each other and coordinating reports. The Daily Collegian, the semi-popular college newspaper has returned to the University of Massachusetts Amherst yet again this semester, and it is still just as annoying as ever.

    I understand that people have a lot of fun writing the articles and I realize that poor journalism has come to be known as a staple of college life at many universities across the United States. But, despite its supposed popularity, I can’t say I look at it all that favorably.

    I don’t see the appeal in running around campus all day looking like a fool with a flappy notebook in my mitts. I don’t understand how the people who write these articles tirelessly don’t have better things to do.

    We’re in college now – we have classes and homework and should be in the slow process of transitioning to adulthood. Now is not the time to be publishing grammatically questionable tirades and causing a scene. Don’t you have obligations of some kind to tend to? How would it look in the real world if a bunch of 25 year-olds were running around Boston playing with the first amendment and sprinting through the streets? It would be intrusive, annoying and very distracting – just like it is now.

    It’s not like The Daily Collegian is a self-contained newspaper, either – far from it. The reporters disrupt people who are simply trying to get to their next class or go to the dining hall. I’m tired of being pushed aside by sprinting “journalists” while I’m walking around campus. I’m sick of walking somewhere at night and having groups of people charge at me assuming that I’m doing something newsworthy (these kinds of things have happened to me quite a bit over the last week). If you’re going to play at news writing, do us all a favor and make sure you’re not tackling topics you don’t understand or shooting your mouth off at students with their iPods on who are oblivious to your obscure agenda – the people who are not reading are avoiding it for a reason.

    And aside from how intrusive the paper is for all of the students not reading, imagine how it must look to the prospective students and families who have been visiting the campus. Is the first impression of UMass we want kids to have to be one with inarticulate teenagers scrambling after pundit positions on Fox news? I think not. On Sunday, I was walking by the Student Union and a mob of “jouranlists” were gathered around a person with a megaphone shouting “What do we want? Self-importance! What do we want? Pretentiousness!” While interesting and comical, such displays would not have attracted me to UMass as a high school student, and I think it really has the potential to turn a lot of other people off, too.

    I’m not trying to levy a personal attack against the people who have chosen to write this paper – I’m just saying that it wouldn’t hurt to tone down the inanity a little bit. I get that you’re just having a good time and that some people get really into it – but not everyone on campus shares your political views. My problem is not with the people writing the paper; it is with the way the paper itself is conducted.

    The other night I was walking to Central when a reporter interrogated me from a tree. I had my iPod on at the time and this verbal assault bored me half to death. That kind of thing is not okay, someone could think you were legitimately columnists. Maybe it’s unwise to pursue this kind of career so late at night – if you can’t see whether or not something is relevant or newsworthy, you should probably call it a day (and maybe get a real job?). By running amok and throwing yourself at the first person you see, you’re asking for tedium.

    If you’re having a good time, then by all means keep writing. But I think it’s time you stopped taking yourselves and this paper so seriously – you don’t need to run around in packs and push and shove and make a ruckus. That kind of behavior isn’t very becoming of you, and it certainly isn’t appreciated by the general population. If you can’t take it down a notch and write in an intelligent manner, maybe this isn’t the kind of career you should be pursuing. Be respectful of your fellow students – you may be obsessed with “Fox & Friends”, but I can assure you that most people aren’t.

  23. DeaconAce says:

    First off, the last comment was simply amazing.

    Second, I know that there are moderators for HvZ in place at UMass, so why not contact them with your complaints? As a moderator at my campus, I can say that we have no intention of involving nonplayers in the game. Accidents do happen, however, so contact your local mods and report the next time someone involves you by mistake.
    Also, don’t call yourself “the general public.” It bugs me.

  24. joe says:

    Dude, chill….

    It is a game that these people enjoy playing. The fact that you and a select few hate on it only serves to create more tension. Your story about being “attacked” is unfortunate, but I assure you that this thing is not common everywhere and always. In fact, many moderators will ban/have a stern talking to players who act up and don’t apologize. People who play HvZ want to continue playing it, so having a good public image is very important to the game’s longevity.

    I have a problem with how you wrote this article as well. You claim that you are not trying to “levy a personal attack” but some of your statements are sharp and insulting. The statements that are not are dripping with passive aggression.

    Tl/dr

    Its just a game, don’t get butthurt over it. It will be gone in 5-7 days.

  25. Braden says:

    @Ivan DeWilde- … Wow… Someone start a slow clap. Tough to follow up and say anything that hasn’t already been said…

    I just participated in URI’s first game and it was a blast. We have an entirely opposite issue- we’re now facing *too* many people wanting to play after seeing the fun players were having last game. Its become one of URI’s biggest clubs literally overnight. Frankly, I was approached more by interested parties than seeing anyone thumb their nose. Those that do are probably jealous and generally have whatever issue that causes them to take out their unnecessary angst and insignificant problems on someone else. Regardless, I thought it was a blast- it serves to pass the time and is a terrific way to meet people.

    I guess your allowed to your opinion and (sadly) have a right to complain like a small child in online blogs, but really- call a wambulance.

  26. Joshua says:

    I just wanted to add that there are in fact 25 year olds and even older that play Nerf as an actual sport. Besides the fact that everyone has their own opinion about HvZ and players of it. I have just started the first HvZ in high school and its been a real blast so far. Im not quite sure why you waste your time posting on here about how you hate people or dont like them for it when you could jsut totaly ignore the whole game all together? seems like a better idea then being a total bitch and trying to shut the game down. Thats exactly like someone who might not like a club or a group your in and want to shut the thing down for no reason other then they dont like it. Think about it that way rather then “oh well I just hate the game all together” maybe actualy try playing HvZ to get some steem off. Just cause your in college doesnt mean everything MUST BE SERIOUS! some people just need HvZ as a way to have fun and look forward to school every year. Like seeing friends in class motivates someone to actualy go to school or get to a class on time. Think about all the possibilitys of why HvZ is around before you decide to hate it for almost no reason.

  27. Sars says:

    I left UMASS 2 years ago, and I thought this game was intrusive even then. Looking back on it… I still dislike all of the things this person said. It wouldn’t have been bad if the game was concentrated to one area (or one field), but this whole HvZ spiralled out of control fast. I know that other schools had fun with it, and I don’t begrudge UMASSers from having their fun. Even if you weren’t being hit with nerf darts, marshmellows, or socks you would still have to deal of the aftermath of no marshmellows in the DC, marshmellows all over the ground, and socks all over the ground. Nothing like littering and pests! While it was annoying to be used as a human shield, random attacks made on your person by a stranger, or on a bus was the most annoying.

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