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February 23, 2016

UPDATES: Humans vs. Zombies (Days 0-4)


Members of “Secretly Not a Suicide Squad” high-five as Cartier makes a shout-out to Snell-Hitchcock’s self-infection strategy and zero-survival-rate.

Courtesy of Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon

See Extraction, the final day of the game.

See our account of the last stand of an HvZ legend.

Meet the mods and hear about classic HvZ lore.

Day 4: 

Saturday marked the halfway point in HvZ, and more than half of the humans had been turned into zombies.

Throughout the day humans could to earn points through flag missions. At 5:00 a safe-zone was instituted on campus until 5:00 AM on Sunday morning. This safe-zone allowed both zombies and humans to attend a range of events Saturday night.

At 5:10 players gathered to celebrate the fallen in the annual “Pour One Out for the Homies” ceremony. Moderator and HvZ Vice President third-year Matthew Cartier read out the names of the dead.

Then the libations were poured.

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Players pour out libations to commemorate the fallen.

Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon

Before he was a moderator, Cartier held an informal version of  “Pour One Out for the Homies”, where players said their own names and then fired a salute. Once he became a moderator, he was able to make the ceremony official and honor everyone. “This is definitely my favorite thing,” he said.

After the ceremony concluded, the moderators arranged a Wild West style duel. Players were forced to abandon their usual guns for antique Maverick guns. The moderators dug into storage to find the oldest and clunkiest nerf guns—the Mavericks were what they came up with.

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Fourth-year Sofia Johnson examines the Maverick gun.

Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon

Players went back to back, walked away from each other, turned, and fired. The initial ten-pace distance proved too long for the Maverick guns, so the moderators shortened the distance until it was down to one-pace and a half. Those who were hit went to the sidelines, and the survivors lined up again.

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Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon

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The field is whittled down.

Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon
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The finalists face off.

Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon

After the duel concluded, players broke into small groups, chatting as they enjoyed the safe-zone’s reprieve. Determined to see just how dysfunctional the Mavericks were, fourth-year Stella Biderman gathered some people to play Russian Roulette with the Mavericks.

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Biderman plays Russian Roulette.

Zoe Kaiser / Chicago Maroon
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The Maverick fired! Biderman flops dramatically to the ground.

Zoe Kaiser

At 6:15, zombies and humans met in Cox Lounge for a Truce Dinner. The safe-zone continued until 5:00 AM Sunday morning.

As of Saturday night, 121 out of 193 players are zombies. For more statistics, see https://www.uchicagohvz.org/game/6/


Day 2

Humans gathered at Harper and zombies at Kent Thursday to learn the details of that night’s main mission. Main missions are a way for humans to earn even more points than week-long missions like the Selfie and Most Wanted Missions.

Fourth-year Michelle Jiang encouraged the humans over the hvZ listhost, “Let's go kill some zeds and get some mission points. ;D”

To which zombie third-year Geoffrey Ramseyer shot back,Yeah come to mission and give me a hug.”

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Zombies ask questions about the upcoming mission.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon

In the mission set-up, the zombies have set up a supposedly impenetrable barrier. To break this barrier, the humans need to prepare two kegs of explosives while the zombies try to thwart them.

“Are they actual explosives?” a zombie asks.

“No.”

“Aww . . .” The assembled zombies sigh.

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The zombies talk strategy.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon
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“What do we want?” shouts third-year Carolyn Hruban. “BRAINS!” reply the zombies. “When do we want them?” A pause. “BRAINS!”

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon
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The zombie horde, around twenty total, goes forth.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon
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Zombies charge a group of humans.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon
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Humans race by.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon
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Humans guard the explosives in front of Eckhart.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon
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Hruban directs the zombies forward after advising them to advance in groups of three and to stick together so that the zombies behind them aren’t hit when they charge.

Zoe Kaiser/Chicago Maroon

Due to a miscommunication among the mods, the humans were told that they could enter buildings during the mission, while the zombies were told that the humans could not. With that advantage, the humans were easily able to clear the mission.

The zombies were miffed, but took solace in the number of humans they killed. “The mods may have screwed us out of victory, but we still got like seven or eight kills,” one zombie said.

The zombies agreed that they would be extra “salty” over the HvZ-Chatter listhost.

One of the mods told them, “You guys still did a fantastic job, be proud of yourselves, brains!”

Overheard During HvZ

“I don’t know about you guys but I’m here to kill some fucking nerds!”

HvZ-Chatter Highlight

“You quote Seneca, and you are right to do so, but we, the few survivors of Breckinridge, have found inspiration in the words of different great men. In the words of Theoden, King of Rohan and Lord of the Riddermark, and Aragorn son of Arathorn, ‘So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?’ ‘Ride out and meet it. For death and glory.’ Until the very end the forces of the Breckinpire will do battle with these foul abominations. But we shall not trust to hope. It has forsaken these lands.”


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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Day 1:

Furious wind and swirling snow wasn't enough to keep zombies and humans indoors on the first full day of Humans Versus Zombies.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Indeed, the Main Quad was a dangerous place to be, especially as classes let out.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Of course, it’s not as if other locations were much safer.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Today at 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, and 6:00 colored flags were placed at different locations on campus. Humans could earn points by finding the flags and sending in the codes written on them.

How exactly does a flag hunt go? Humans have only a partial picture of the flag’s location to work with. They figure out the location, and then set out.

Fourth-year Michelle Jiang led a group of humans to find an orange flag.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon
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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon
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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon
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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon
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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

For zombies, the game is different. Zombies earn points through missions and kills. Every day at 9 AM and again at 3 PM, the Zombies with the highest number of points become 'most-wanted' zombies, and their names and faces are sent out to players in keeping with the Wild West theme. Humans earn extra points if they take a selfie with a most-wanted zombie.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Three of the game’s most prominent zombies were lingering around the main quad, looking for humans to capture.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Overheard During HvZ:

Zombie to humans inside a building : “It’s so cold outside. I think we’ll stay right here with you.”

Last chance registration closed at 8:00 tonight, with 192 players in the game. So far, 75 of them have been turned into zombies. For more statistics, see https://www.uchicagohvz.org/game/6/


Day 0:

The Winter 2016 Humans Versus Zombies game kicked off at 8:00 PM on Tuesday night. The objective of HvZ for humans is to survive until next Tuesday. For zombies, the objective is simple—convert as many humans to zombies as possible. In the beginning, there is only one zombie, a patient zero who spreads the infection. In this game, that zombie is called Skeleton Jack, echoing the game’s Old Wild West theme.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

The HvZ Survival Guide, sent out on the HvZ list-host by fourth-year Michelle Jiang and written by alumna Holly Kassner, presents a slightly different spin on the objective of humans. The guide quotes a HvZ forum poster who says: “The point of HvZ is not to survive until the last day. The point is to die in an epic fashion that will be remembered for years and that will be told around the campfires of future zombie hunters.”

“If you’re hiding in your room all day, not going to class, eating your 21st package of ramen, you might not be playing right,” Krassner adds.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

According to HvZ Vice President Matthew Cartier, 130 people pre-registered for this game, but he anticipates that the total number of players will be higher. He says turnout is always variable in the game. “It depends how good our viral marketing is. We rely on word of mouth, on our players to hype the game to their friends." Registration closed at 10:00 PM, with 155 sign-ups, though it’s still possible to join the game by contacting zombie-requests@lists.uchicago.edu.

Cartier thinks the unseasonably warm weather will increase turnout. Normally during Winter quarter the cold weather keeps both humans and zombies indoors, but the warmer temperatures could mean a more lively game.

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Zoe Kaiser / The Chicago Maroon

Fourth-year Zeno Unnold remarked on the weather as he waited in line to register. Unnold is an HvZ veteran who has played every game since Autumn of his first year. He once survived all the way through extraction, mainly by keeping out-of-sight. “I moved at low-density times on obscure paths,” he said. “Mainly it's been a game of Where's Waldo."

Overheard During HvZ:

"Remember, guys, the goal of your arm-band is to cut off blood-flow so the zombies can't sense you."

You can follow the death toll and other statistics at https://www.uchicagohvz.org/game/6/.

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