Napa Valley College officials are the latest to interfere with a popular campus-based game of tag called Humans vs. Zombies. More than 600 campuses in the United States play some version of the game, which originated at Goucher College.
To win, zombie players try to “infect” or tag the humans, thereby turning them into zombies, and the humans must protect one another from being tagged. Sometimes the teams also have missions to complete. In some iterations, the tags are tracked with person-specific ID cards, and then uploaded to a Web site. In others, as soon as you get hit with a Nerf dart, you’re dead. Well, undead. A game can last days or weeks, or merely until there are no “humans” left.
In 2008, The Chronicle filmed one of the games:
The darts seem to be the problem at Napa Valley College. According to the Napa Valley Register, “the sight of students running with blasters through campus has raised concerns among some students and faculty. In the wake of recent school shootings across the U.S., gun violence has become an increasingly sensitive issue, said Benjamin Quesada, student-life coordinator at Napa Valley College.”
Several years ago, students at Bowling Green State University also lost their foam-dart privileges after some students on the campus worried that the brightly painted toy blasters might be real guns. Those players had to compromise by throwing marshmallows at one another. At Napa Valley College, they may have to settle for rolled-up socks, even though students say that would ruin the fun of the game.
Napa Valley students have started a petition asking the administration to restore their guns. They have more than 300 signatures: More students have signed in support than were playing the original game.