Rhodes humans battle it out with the ‘zombies’

David Macgregor

ZOMBIE fever gripped Grahamstown yesterday as hundreds of paranoid Rhodes University students fought running campus battles with the living dead.

More than 350 students – and even a history lecturer – signed up this week to take part in the four-day Humans vs Zombies (HvZ) blood-fest that has fast become a global phenomenon since it was launched in America 15 years ago.

According to former Rhodes University Gaming Society chairwoman Monique Mulholland – who got the HvZ concept going at Rhodes late last year, for the first time in South Africa – new technologies play a huge part in keeping humans informed of the whereabouts of the ever-increasing hordes of zombies that stalk the campus.

Besides shouting verbal warnings to each other, players also use Facebook and BlackBerry Messaging to try to outwit the opposition.

The only way for humans to keep the zombies at bay is to throw anti- undead projectiles (AUPs) – clean, rolled-up pairs of socks – at them to stun the undead for 15 minutes, while zombies notch up a kill by tag touching their human prey.

Gaming Society member Will Walters said the idea of HvZ was to break away from the clichéd idea of gamers being stuck in “caverns” behind computers doing nothing.

HvZ ends on Thursday.

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