Zombie Epidemic Creates Shortage of Brains on Campus

Seth Farber, Molly Burtenshaw, Noel Safford, Dan Castle, and Rachel Padding prepare for the zombie apocalypse. As of March 8, Dan Castle is still human. (Photo by Rowan Copley)
Seth Farber, Molly Burtenshaw, Noel Safford, Dan Castle, and Rachel Padding prepare for the zombie apocalypse. As of March 8, Dan Castle is still human. (Photo by Rowan Copley)
We are lurking under the overhang in front of Baltimore Hall, waiting for food. There are eleven of us, hiding and glancing impatiently at each other as we smoke cigarettes. People pass by and see us and point, but we don’t care, because we’re waiting for that special kind of person whom we can eat and turn into one of us. We see one. I sprint after him quietly along the path to the pond, but as I fall in about 10 feet behind him, he turns around swinging two melee weapons in my direction, making it impossible for me to close the distance without being hit. I try, but it’s no use – this one is properly prepared for the zombie apocalypse. I return to my group still hungry.

If this sounds like an odd post-apocalyptic monster story, you’d be half-right. This game has gripped St. Mary’s campus for the past two weeks. It has led to many amusing encounters between the two different sides, including some at Baltimore Hall where groups of zombies wait hungrily for a human to walk by.

My memories of becoming a zombie are a blur. One minute, I came out of a townhouse at Mardi Greens, surrounded by some other humans . The next minute someone I thought was my friend came up to give me a pat on the back and then informed me that he had eaten my brains. Mardi Greens was a veritable feasting ground for the zombie horde, and it was only a matter of time before all but a rare few had become a zombie.

Zombie weapons (Photo by Rowan Copley)
Zombie weapons (Photo by Rowan Copley)

The game is fairly simple. First, those interested in playing join the Facebook group for the College. Everyone starts as a human, and they signify their humanity by wearing a bandanna on their arms or legs. Everyone, that is, except for the Original Zombie (who is notified via Facebook), who then starts infecting people as zombies.

Zombies have to wear bandannas on their heads, and to feed on and infect humans they have to tag them. Humans can defend themselves by shooting a zombie with a nerf gun or hitting them with a sock, which keep zombies from interacting with humans for 15 minutes. If a zombie goes 48 hours without feeding, it is out of the game.

The first few days for most humans were just a slowly building paranoia and an excuse to carry your nerf gun to class. We would see each other on the path, random people who didn’t know each other, and chat about who might or might not be zombies as if we were talking about the weather. But then our survival instinct kicked in when we realized that not everyone was to be trusted. After Mardi Greens, humans were a paranoid minority; soon, most zombies had starved because of a lack of humans to eat. The game may not have had any huge battles between the two sides, but it sure made going to class a new experience.

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