by Joe Westenberg
A deadly virus, initially classified as H1Z1, has broken out on the campus of Whitworth University. The first case was reported to authorities at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 15. Centers for Disease Control officials responded to the case, but were unable to find Patient Zero in the area where the call had been placed. The phone which placed the call was found nearby, with 911 dialed into the keypad; attempts to locate the owner proved unsuccessful.
Officials spent the night responding to calls that led them to empty dorm lounges and parking lots. Initially thought to be a prank, the situation was deemed much more serious when an actual patient was found. The patient, whose name was not released, was rushed to the Health Center where she was pronounced DOA. Before an autopsy could be performed, the body mysteriously disappeared. The Whitworth campus and surrounding areas have been put under quarantine until the situation is resolved.
The inaugural game of Humans Vs. Zombies took place last year and turned out to be a rousing success with more than 400 participants. In light of that, the game is being held again this year and is just as popular as the last year was. The game was organized by junior Evan Underbrink, senior Kasey Culmback and sophomore Alden Welsch, all of whom are members of leadership.
“The game will be run pretty much like it was last year, with some minor rule changes,” Welsch said.
Essentially a game of tag, the game starts with all players as humans and one original zombie. Zombies tag humans to turn them into other zombies, and must do so every 48 hours or they will starve to death and be disqualified. The humans can use Nerf guns or socks to stun the zombies in order to get away. In order for the zombies to win, they must tag all human players. If the humans manage to stay untagged long enough, then all the zombies starve to death and the humans win the game.
In this year’s game, the alpha zombie is sophomore Matt Goode.
“I got an email that I was the original zombie about seven or eight hours before the game actually started,” Goode said. “I was allowed to be dressed like a human for the first couple hours which let me infiltrate human groups and tag them when they least expected it.”
Senior Phillip Inouye said he hopes to do better in this year’s game compared to the last.
“I played the game last year and didn’t do very well, so I’m hoping to reverse that this year and hopefully be a part of the missions,” Inouye said.
Missions are another element of the game that keep it from stagnating. They are designed by the organizers for both the human team and the zombie team. For example, the zombie team might be given a mission to tag a particular member of the human team within a time limit. Or the human team might do some reconnaissance in a zombie-infested area in an effort to gain the upper hand and win the game.