By Rory Gilchrist
Campus is emptier this week. People seem more cautious. There’ve been zombie sightings across campus; some by Meem, a whole by Uppers courtyard. Students run to class through the trees, taking back-routes to avoid detection, evading the catch of the zombies.
I’m not kidding. This week, students, as part of Friday Night Game Night, have organized a Zombie Apocalypse tournament. Now, everyone likes to think they’d be the survivors, but statistically speaking, most of them will probably end up getting bitten. Well, this week has been an opportunity to see how well Johnnies would do in a real-life zombie attack.
The rules are pretty simple: We start with two zombies out of 100 players−the rest are humans, for now. Zombies wear red bandanas, humans wear white ones. Humans can defend themselves only with sock-bombs. If one hits a zombie, then that zombie is paralyzed for 60 seconds, allowing the human to escape to ‘safety’. Zombies infect susceptible humans by tagging them, at which point they give that zombie their white bandana and put on the red. There are safezones, places sanitized against the zombie virus. At the start of the week, no zombie kills could take place indoors, on balconies or within 15 feet of an entrance. But as the week goes on, the zombies build up a resisitance, and until seminar tonight, the only place of safety is inside your dorm room or Peterson Student Center. There are cash prizes for both the last human standing and the zombie with the most kills, prizes that will be presented at the Halloween party this weekend.
The game has been a lot of fun, both for humans and for zombies. There was an explosion of zombie converts that first afternoon, on Monday, and I predict there’ll be another, last-ditch one before 7:30 tonight, when the game ends. I got bit quite early in the game, my fault, but since Tuesday I’ve been chasing down humans, predicting paths, working in zombie packs, using tactics. Of course, the zombies here have human-level intellegence and agility (and all I’m saying is if the zombies end up being like 28 Days Later zombies rather than Walking Dead zombies, then we might be screwed…).
Sidebar: if you’re interested in how zombie populations grow over time, check out this paper published in an epidemiology journal about modelling mathematically a zombie outbreak.