Sunday, May 27, 2012

HvZ: Humans vs Zombies, Island Park, Geneva

It might look like a hazing at first sight, but it's actually an orchestrated game among a circle of friends. These players come well prepared.

In the darkness of Island Park, they gather, donning bandanas and nerf armaments. If true zombies showed in Geneva, civilians would have nothing to fear.

In the darkness below the trees, and under the quickly darkening sky, they scatter, and only an attentive observer or participant can even see them play. Don't look into the light, or you will miss something important.


I can see more movement in the corners of my eyes than where I strain to look, and I wish my pain didn't keep me from joining in.

Players--some humans, some relatively recently turned zombies--pass me carefully, examining me for a bandanna on my arm or head. Arm means I'm human, and for the former, that makes me a cautious colleage, for the latter, a potential target. Head labels me as zombie, and the positions reverse. No bandanna marks me as dead or civilian.

Chatter calls out just around the corner from my post, the infected banding together.

"Zombies running around with guns..." The humans seem worried, and the game is picking up.

Ten minutes later, two packs pass me, scant seconds apart, passing in the night, chasing shadows and each other, and I know this round will soon be coming to a close, one way or another.

Screaming shouting, stomping, and slapping erupts from the darkness, and now it just becomes a matter of rounding up the stragglers. With fewer than thirty players, that probably won't take long. Probably.


I wish I could take photos, but I brought no night scope, and with a flash they'd scatter like, well, zombies. I'd only serve to blind myself to their movements, and then I wouldn't be able to enjoy the game at all.


The conch is blown, and the game referees, who are willing victims too, draw the stragglers back in for a reset, with time enough for one more round before the park closes at ten.

New rules are claimed for this round is response to the earlier game, and the first one I hear is "Zombies cannot carry weapons."

For more information about this and upcoming events, you can find this local chapter on their facebook page. For a narrative from within the game, swing over to my art blog here.