Just like the zombie virus will one day consume the world, Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) has taken over Webster University’s campus once again. And despite what its critics will say, HvZ is a great thing for this campus.
Yes, it is a game of tag and might not have any academic value per se, but since when is having a little fun such a bad thing? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I watched “The Shining,” and making Jack a dull boy is a very bad idea.
The Student Grant Fund and the university fund a lot of things with no academic value in the traditional sense. We have sports, Quidditch Club, Video Game Club and many others. Notice I said no academic value in any traditional sense. Because while HvZ and these other clubs may not be teaching us how to multiply or the ins and outs of American politics, they give students something incredible: a community.
College isn’t just about what you learn in the classroom. And if you think that, I would like to apologize on behalf of the university, because you are missing out on the bigger picture. College is about interacting, building a community and having experiences on top of a great education.
To say that HvZ clouds the perceived reality of the players, as was said by a guest writer in The Journal last fall, is just foolish. Players understand the difference between being tagged and “dying” in the game and what death means in the real world. To claim HvZ encourages any “us vs. them” mentality is insulting. I’ve hidden in bushes and fought the “zombie hoard” back to back with human rights activists, aspiring politicians and many other people who strive to make this world a better place. HvZ invokes segregation and hostility towards other groups just as much as any team-based sport or activity, which is not at all.
HvZ is an incredible activity this university and its students should be proud of. Yes, while incidents have happened in the past and there have been vocal confrontations before, as a whole, HvZ has had such a positive effect on those who participate. Those who play feel the community that HvZ fosters. When you wear the bandana proudly, you know that anyone else who does as well is your ally or at least playful rival. At least for that week.
But rarely is the camaraderie just for one week. I still regularly see people I know only from HvZ and we tell the old “war stories” and laugh. I’m not just talking about my fellow humans — I do the same with my biggest rivals on the zombie side. We talk about all the stand offs we had. We don’t do it out of anger, but playfulness and competitive spirit.
Maybe this is something that can only be seen by the players and those invested in this wonderful community. But another great thing about this community is that anyone can be a part of it. Anyone can sign up to play HvZ and join in the fun. You can take it as seriously as you want. There is no right or wrong way to play.
So if you haven’t been already, I want to invite all of you to take up your Nerf gun and join us in the next game of Humans vs. Zombies.