Humans versus Zombies was first brought to the University of Florida by (at the time) Freshman Jesse Schmitt in the Spring of 2010. An official club for the game of tag was registered with the Center for Student Activities and Involvement under the name Gators Humans Versus Zombies of that year. The first trial game was run over a period of four days in Spring of 2010 with just three moderators and had over 200 registered players. The Original Zombie (the zombie who infects the rest of the players) of this game was Brendan Negron. He would later become an inside joke of the GHvZ club for sleeping through the final mission, or "pulling a Negron". This first game's story had a military theme which had the survivors scout out a landing zone and defend a field until a helicopter could airlift them out to safety. The human resistance was wiped out during the final mission and the zombies were the winners of the first game.
This trial run grabbed instant media attention- as well as attention from the student body. So much interest was drawn that the club decided to host a second Spring game that same semester. This second Spring game took place over seven days and was the largest game ever at the University of Florida with over 1100 registered players, with only four acting moderators.
Though there was a game held that summer, future games would not start being funded by Student Government until Fall 2010, where the club received funding for advertising. The club would struggle over the next few games with several incidents with the UFPD and the school over liability concerns. Moderators and officers worked hard during this time to reach a compromise to allow the Games to continue. With more Student Government funding, 1800 bandannas were purchased for the Fall 2011 (Second Fall Game) that could be loaned free of charge to players provided that they be returned at the end of the game.
Gators Humans versus Zombies has recently wrapped up their fifth spring game, yet are already eagerly planning their summer and fall games. For those interested, you are encouraged to register and join the facebook group. For more detailed information on the history of GHvZ, check out their wiki page.
To learn a little bit more about the innerworkings of the Humans vs. Zombies game at University of Florida, I decided to interview the President of the club.
Name: Corey J. Berner
Age: 20 years old
Hometown: Fort Myers, Florida
How did you get into Gators Humans vs. Zombies?
- I joined the game my first Fall semester here at UF after my Chem Lab partner brought up before class one day that his friend was starting up this club with zombies and nerf guns. Being the anti-social freshman I was, I went to a rules meeting and was surprisingly hooked.
How long have you been playing?
- I played each semester for five more games (missing a summer game) and then decided that wanted to plan the game.
Plan the game? Like become a moderator?
When did you become a moderator?
- I became a mod in Spring 2012 and have been in the modsquad ever since.
What do you do as part of the modsquad?
- Create the storyline, make up the missions, etc. Using the imagination it takes to create some of the ideas we put into the game are some of the things that I absolutely love to do.
What are your future plans?
- After this past game, I was elected as President and will continue to try my hardest to make the coming games as best as they possibly can be.
So what do you prefer, Human or Zombie?
- When I play the game, I prefer to be a human. Something about having nerf guns, shooting people, and the heart pumping paranoia makes it unforgettable in my eyes.