So there I was: I had just hopped off my bicycle outside of Knight Library with naught but one bullet in my pistol and the eerie sense that danger was just around the corner. If I let my guard down for one brief moment, terrible things could happen. One second of inattention and I’d soon be counted among the living dead.
If I was ambushed, I only had one shot. I had to make it count. So as soon as I hopped off the ol’ Comet Two-Sixty—so I’d named my bike—I was ready to pump some lead into the nearest zombie.
Okay, so maybe the only looming threat was the possibility of getting tagged by a kid with a bandana wrapped around his head. And I didn’t exactly have a handgun on me—it was a Nerf shooter. But I was still plenty scared.
We’ve all said it at one time or another: “Gee whiz, I sure wish life were more like a video game.” You may not have sounded like a 9-year-old from the ‘50s, but the sentiment is the same. Well, for one week a few of us got to live out the fantasy.
Did you encounter students with bandanas wrapped around their arms or heads? Then you bore witness to a game of Humans Vs. Zombies, my friend. The goal of the game was simple: survive at any and all costs. The game started with a handful of zombies. These were the kids who wore bandanas on their heads.
We humans wore the same bandanas around our arms. If you were tagged by a zombie, you became infected and, in time, joined the army of the dead. A strike with a Nerf bullet or a sock ball—it’s exactly what it sounds like—stunned zombies long enough for you to escape.
And so a select few of us were granted that ever-elusive wish every kid seeks. We were practically thrust into a zombie apocalypse for one week.
In true video game fashion, the Humans Vs. Zombies moderators mentioned that they’d hidden body armor cards—think of it as an extra life—throughout campus. And if previous encounters with zombies, werewolves and Koopas had taught me anything, it was that these things would be found in the most obscure locations on campus.
And so I ventured into familiar territory thinking I might rustle up some real-world powerups. I checked the shrubs around the Earl dorms. Nothing. Maybe there was a scrap of body armor in the hedges around Knight Library? Nope.
Video games have given me the (clearly wrong) impression that valuable resources could be found in the most obscure places in any given location. If you’ve ever played a Resident Evil game, you’re well-acquainted with the tedium that goes into the quest for every spare ammo clip and health upgrade.
Sure, it’s all fun and games when you control an avatar that can literally run for hours without breaking a sweat. But when you’re hoofing it from building to building on a mildly warm afternoon, it gets a bit tiring.
Compound that with the terror that comes with the possibility of danger lurking around every corner and suddenly you’re more stressed than the time you waited until the night before your ten-page research paper was due to start typing (admit it, you’ve done this). At least the most I had to lose during my week in the zombie apocalypse was a neon-pink bandana. Oh, and my dignity.
So you wish life were more like a video game? No, you don’t.