Tito - Marketing — 16 November 2012
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Humans vs. Zombies: More than just a game

“This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.” – Amanda Hocking author of the Hollowland

As I mentioned in my previous post, zombies are becoming a very popular item in today’s society. Florida Tech has no immunity when it comes to this viral epidemic, some might even say we have become a carrier for it. If you are not familiar with Humans vs. Zombies here is a quick crash course on the basics.

Me playing HvZ Freshman Year

Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) was invented at Goucher College in 2005. The game spread virally across the internet as students first gained access to Facebook and told their friends from home about the game. It is a game of moderated tag played at schools, camps, neighborhoods, military bases and conventions across the world. Human players must remain vigilant and defend themselves with socks and dart blasters to avoid being tagged by a growing zombie horde.

Many players report that Humans vs. Zombies is one of the most meaningful experiences of their lives. The game creates deep bonds between players– instantly removing social boundaries by forcing players to engage as equals and cooperate for their survival.

When I first became involved, I was not expecting it to grow this much or become a Florida Tech staple. Love It or hate It, there will always come a time once a semester where the students don their orange bandanas, raid the local toy stores for Nerf guns, count their darts and anxiously wait for midnight to roll around.  It all starts when “patient zero’s” begin their hunt and kick off the most exciting/paranoid 2 two weeks at Florida Tech, besides finals of course!

When I was just a wee freshman, I worked alongside a few friends to start a Humans vs Zombieschapter on campus. It’s been almost 4 year since we first donned the orange bandanas over our arms and in some cases around our heads. Although the Nerf guns have changed and players graduated, the mission has always stayed the same: SURVIVE (unless you are a zombie, then your job is to Feast)! Ever since then, I have watched HvZ grow like a zombie pandemic (pretty sweet analogy right!). We initially started with 60 players and have grown to over 280 students and even some awesome faculty members join in on the action!

The Zombie Chicken Pizza

The game has gotten so popular in the past few years that even the Rathskeller(The Rat) created specialty pizzas (“Night of the Zombie Chicken Pizza” is my favorite) as well as several smoothies from the Black Kat (try “Brain Matter”, it’s delicious).

There are even professors who use the game’s statistics to model the spread of pandemics.  Speaking of the spread of pandemics, did you know in the marketing world there is a technique that is similar to a zombie outbreak that we use to spread messages autonomously? Some of you might be familiar with the term VIRAL MARKETING!

In my next blog post, I will show you examples of creative ways to initiate a viral spread in marketing and who knows maybe we will get some help from our friends…the zombies.

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