Humans vs Zombies continues to be popular on college campuses

The apocalypse just ended — for Humans vs. Zombies, that is.

At MU, Humans vs. Zombies is a 24-hour-a-day, week-long event that consists of students armed with foam dart guns ambushing each other all around campus. The first event at Mizzou was in 2007, although the fake battles had already been occurring at other universities around the country. Mizzou students participate in this event every semester. This year, the fall semester event was from Oct. 22-29. Humans vs. Zombies just finished up with its awards night on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

“Humans vs. Zombies is a deformed version of Nerf tag,” said Tyler Etling, president of Humans vs. Zombies. “Human players try to protect themselves from zombie players using Nerf blasters and socks. Zombies run around trying to tag humans.”

According to the website, official equipment includes: a bandana, foam dart blaster, marshmallow launcher or socks. While the dart blaster can be modified to shoot better, only the foam darts accepted by the rules are allowed. Safety is a priority, according to the site. No realistic looking weapons are allowed. Players run all over campus in zones, defined areas players must stay in, but if inside buildings, they cannot be tagged. Humans wear bandanas on their arms while zombies place bandanas on their heads for identification. A player may be chosen as a zombie before the game starts and would be undercover the first day.

Over the years, HvZ has changed, including rules about how you can modify your dart blaster, and where you can and can’t run. Another change is the amount of players participating.

“Player count has fluctuated,” said Will McConnell, a player from this year and returning member of three years. “First year I joined there were 250 people in the game. The year before that there were over 400, and it dwindled to about 70, but that was also because it was the spring semester. This year we had over 100.”

Some people quit playing once they turn into a zombie, but that is really where the fun begins according to McConnell. You don’t have to worry about being tagged as much then and you can goof off more.

“If you’re going for a larger group of humans you have to coordinate a group of zombies to try and get them,” said Josh Long, a player and zombie from this semester.

HvZ is not your average foam dart gun tag. If you want to participate in HvZ next semester, sign up and get more information at:

KateLynn Ketsenburg

About the Author KateLynn Ketsenburg

Hello, my name is KateLynn and I am a sophomore studying science and agricultural journalism with a minor in animal science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Since being at Mizzou, I have volunteered at the MU Equine Teaching Facility and was the co-leader of my dorm’s homecoming float committee, which won third place in our division. I have some experience related to the agriculture industry through job shadowing at my local veterinary clinic in Monroe City, Missouri, for five years. Through Corner Post, I hope to gain more experience related to my major.