HVZ has ended, and while those who played slowly decay due to the zombie victory, I decided to reflect on my experience this semester playing and last semester just observing. Last semester I didn’t quite get it. A lot of my friends played, but as a first year I hadn’t really been exposed to anything like it. I didn’t understand the appeal, the paranoia, the risk, even the hunting all that running and strategizing didn’t make much sense to me. But now that I have played HVZ I don’t understand why I ever doubted.
HVZ was fun, way fun, more fun than I had expected. I preferred being a human to being a zombie by miles, though I suppose that incentivizes you to stay alive longer. But as many, including HVZ exec board member Orion Hartmann say, “When the zombies win, everyone wins.” That being said, everyone wins most years, “Zombies always win” Orion says, which makes sense. Numbers are important and zombies always have the numbers. I spoke to Orion who has been on the exec board for about 2.5 years now about why he got involved in HVZ. “It’s fun” he said, in possibly the most simple and extensive answers one could hope for on the topic. “It’s adults playing tag” he added, which I think is the perfect explanation. As a kid I always thought that when I grew up I’d have all the free time I need to play tag, or climb trees as much as I wanted, and although that’s not true, HVZ was a good way for me to get back into that creative and imaginative mindset. For me pretending it’s real is the most fun part, and maybe that’s revealing of my taste in games in general, but it is really fun to escape the day to day routine to stave off a zombie invasion. And that’s not all “It’s a good way to see the campus better” Orion said, and it’s true, I never noticed the pillars when you are coming to campus center from north campus I hardly noticed they were away from the wall before a zombie jumped from behind to attack me. I didn’t even know the hill beside Guam was part of our campus before HVZ.
Overall though the most important, and best part of HVZ is the bond you form with your fellow humans/undead invaders. It is fun and it is communal, and maybe that makes me a nerd or a geek at the very least, but I’d choose a nerd having fun with other nerds than most alternatives. And I highly suggest you do to.