Humans and zombies are going head-to-head at Champlain College in Burlington.
"HvZ is always simultaneously the best and worst week of my life," said Samantha Kuykendall, a sophomore.
Students are competing in a campuswide challenge to outsmart one another in a game of tag that comes with a twist. The two groups use tube socks and toy guns in a weeklong challenge where humans fight to stay alive and zombies are out to get them. It's called Humans versus Zombies or HvZ.
"If they tag the human then the human gets turned, if the human does not retaliate with a Nerf gun, either by shooting the zombie or a sock which would be hitting them," said Kevin Wheaton, a member of the HvZ club.
The extra-curricular activity is growing in popularity on campuses across the country. Seasoned players say surviving in the competition takes serious strategy when few places are kept off-limits.
"It's really intense. It makes you think about everything differently. You can't just go to class; you have to go through different buildings and off campus," Kuykendall said.
These folks are careful to point out that their tools are Nerf toys made out of plastic. They're identified by an orange tip. And as far as what they shoot, that's made out of Styrofoam.
"We have rules in how you can paint your weapons. We always have it so it can't look anything like a gun at all, you always have the orange tip on there, but there is nothing really too worrying about this," Wheaton said.
Organizers admit while the action may not be the college fun you grew up with, it's packed with physical activity, focused on fun and worth giving a shot.
"When you actually get involved in it, it is really fun. It's something you never really expect until you jump right in," Wheaton said.
The game runs through Saturday night when the last student standing will take home the final prize.
Humans versus Zombies is sanctioned by the school. HvZ is an official club on campus and it sponsors the weeklong challenge twice a year.
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