Just when you thought State College was safe from a zombie invasion, think again.
Members of Penn State's Urban Gaming Club joined forces with other colleges and universities around the northeast to fend off the undead in the first Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) Invitational.
The invasion stormed the usually quiet North Halls around 11 a.m. Saturday. When most North Halls residents were on their way to breakfast, the HvZ players had been on the prowl for fresh human flesh since 8 a.m.
Alex Zwiazek was "incubating" just outside Warnock Commons -- meaning that he had just been turned into a zombie. He was disappointed that he was no longer human but was still enjoying the game.
"The weather is nice, and everyone is having a great time," Zwiazek (junior-film) said. "It's great getting people from other schools to play this game we all love."
Bowling Green State University, Ithaca College, Slippery Rock University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, State University of New York New Paltz, and Binghamton University, as well as Penn State Berks and Penn State Brandywine were among the schools who visited State College this weekend for the game.
In total, about 200 people participated, the first time so many schools played HvZ on one campus in the same day, organizer John Mortara said.
Penn State HvZ members had been planning for this event since January, something Mortara (senior-English) said was key in pulling off the game.
But he also said he could have never done it without help, particularly from Urban Gaming Club Treasurer Martin Castner and Vice President Ryan Bisbey.
While there were other schools in the game, everyone played by the Penn State club's rules. And despite an orientation for all players Friday night, zombie Adam Cochrane said some people had trouble adapting to Penn State's way of playing.
"A lot of people are discovering that the way they played at their schools doesn't work as well here," Cochrane (sophomore-public relations) said.
Matthew Mols, another HvZ player, attributed the differences to the fact that Penn State's version of the game is more zombie-oriented, while other schools have more human-friendly rules.
"One school has a rule where the only way to tag a human is to touch them with both hands only on their shoulders," Mols (senior-information, science and technology) said, as opposed to any basic tag, by Penn State rules.
The game finished around 9:30 p.m., when all the players had become zombies.
Overall, the game was a success, Mortara said. He would like to see the invitational become an annual event, but because he will be graduating in May, he'll have to leave it up to the younger members of the club.
"I wanted to do one nice thing for the club and the game itself before I graduated," Mortara said.