Hunt Zombies With Nerf Guns at Expo 2012

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Hunt Zombies With Nerf Guns at Expo 2012

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Popular live-action event game Humans vs. Zombies comes to the Escapist Expo this September.

What is it about large, public places that always seems to attract the undead? Think about it: Dead Rising's mall, Lollypop Chainsaw's high school, Dead Island's resort; there must be some sort of internal zombie calculus comparing brains to acreage that triggers just before lunch time. Well, it turns out that the Durham Convention Center is no different, as this year's Escapist Expo has drawn the hordes. Namely, you. The Escapist is pleased to announce the addition of Humans vs. Zombies to the 2012 Expo's line up, a real-life, three-day-long game of socks, survival, and Nerf gun warfare.

If you did the college thing, you may be somewhat familiar with Humans vs. Zombies, or a variation thereof. If not, it basically works like this: Everyone is assigned a bandana to wear on their arm as a sign that they're "human." One person is then chosen at random to become Patient Zero, the first in what may or may not become a massive lineage of brain-munchers by the convention's end. Mr. or Ms. New Zombie will then wear his or her bandana up top on their head before gleefully proceeding to hunt for brain. Because we greatly prefer you being alive (and don't feel quite comfortable asking anyone to take an actual spoonful of grey matter to the gut), this will be accomplished by tagging. Once the zombie tags a human, the human must move his or her bandana to the appropriate position, and can immediately begin stalking cranium chow for themselves. The humans aren't utterly defenseless, though, as zombies can be stunned by a sock or foam dart launcher. Throw a (provided, non-foot-funky) sock, or Nerf blast your attacker to freeze it in its tracks for ten minutes while you gloriously make a quick escape.

As the event continues, it won't be long before the undead population begins to rise exponentially. At the end of the Expo, one of two things will happen: either the zombies will win by converting everyone, or a handful of scrappy survivors will have proven that they're the ones to call in the advent of an actual outbreak.

Human vs. Zombies is just one of the many events we've got in store for Expo attendees designed to make things fun, and keep you on your toes. So, if you want to prove to your buddy who's the better zombie survivor (instead of just arguing about the hypotheticals into the wee hours of the night) come register to join us at the first annual Escapist Expo, to be held in Durham, NC this September.

Image: Humans vs Zombies

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This almost makes me want to come the thousands of miles to go, of course all the other stuff is pretty good too.
Nobody in the UK likes nerf, it's just not a big thing here, no organised events at all.

You had me at Nerf guns.

I so can't wait to do this there, it's gonna be awesome!

An already great trip just got even better. Awesome addition! Very excited.

@JokerboyJordan Im in the Uk and I like nerf. We have maybe monthly games of 10 people (tops) the problem is its socialy unaccpetable.

*cries*

It's... just.... so beautiful.

(You might want to make official mention about the use of non-stock ammo, as there are plenty of folks out there that modify Nerf guns and ammo. Of particular interest (and danger) are lovely li'l critters known in the community as "Stefans." Obviously, up to you all whether you'd allow such things or not, but as an enthusiast, even I would recommend a tight rein on them.)

On another note:

My wife and I may be interested in organizing with other enthusiastic survivors, as we have a substantial arsenal of Nerf weaponry and ammunition...

Do we need to bring our own guns?

Mumorpuger:
Do we need to bring our own guns?

Sock grenades will be provided. We'll be posting the official rules in a short while. What we do know is that people can bring their own nerf guns, but they must pass inspection and be registered before they can be used anywhere within the expo to ensure safety. The guns can not be altered in any way, including alterations to paint or firing mechanisms. Further, all participants must agree to not fire a nerf weapon upon anyone not participating in Humans vs. Zombies or outside of The Expo on public grounds. Only participants of Humans vs. Zombies will have permission to use nerf guns on Expo grounds, and it must be while actively playing the game. This is to ensure that everyone at Expo has a good time, including both the HvZ participants and the bystanders.

Nasrin:

Mumorpuger:
Do we need to bring our own guns?

Sock grenades will be provided. We'll be posting the official rules in a short while. What we do know is that people can bring their own nerf guns, but they must pass inspection and be registered before they can be used anywhere within the expo to ensure safety. The guns can not be altered in any way, including alterations to paint or firing mechanisms. Further, all participants must agree to not fire a nerf weapon upon anyone not participating in Humans vs. Zombies or outside of The Expo on public grounds. Only participants of Humans vs. Zombies will have permission to use nerf guns on Expo grounds, and it must be while actively playing the game. This is to ensure that everyone at Expo has a good time, including both the HvZ participants and the bystanders.

When I got the notification that you replied to my message, you had originally said "Plants vs. Zombies." That made me jaw-drop and hope you had an awesome variation in mind. Now I've come and read the corrected post. You have broken my heart, Nas.

This reminds me of what Rooster Teeth had done at their little get-together...

Damn you Atlantic Ocean!

I'm guessing there will be coverage of the event for us unfortunate enough to be born in the UK

Mumorpuger:

When I got the notification that you replied to my message, you had originally said "Plants vs. Zombies." That made me jaw-drop and hope you had an awesome variation in mind. Now I've come and read the corrected post. You have broken my heart, Nas.

I've broken my own heart. It was a Freudian slip of the most tragic kind. I've raised the bar for awesome in our minds and now must get to work on a solution.

Meet me at the Fortress of Solitude in a fortnight to discuss plans.

Nasrin:

Mumorpuger:

When I got the notification that you replied to my message, you had originally said "Plants vs. Zombies." That made me jaw-drop and hope you had an awesome variation in mind. Now I've come and read the corrected post. You have broken my heart, Nas.

I've broken my own heart. It was a Freudian slip of the most tragic kind. I've raised the bar for awesome in our minds and now must get to work on a solution.

Meet me at the Fortress of Solitude in a fortnight to discuss plans.

Excellent. I think that is pizza night. It's my turn to buy.

I think I may have to go shopping for a Nerf gun this weekend.

Dastardly:
Of particular interest (and danger) are lovely li'l critters known in the community as "Stefans."

...do I even want to know?

The Rogue Wolf:
I think I may have to go shopping for a Nerf gun this weekend.

Dastardly:
Of particular interest (and danger) are lovely li'l critters known in the community as "Stefans."

...do I even want to know?

They're just homemade Nerf darts, named after the popularised maker of them. They are heavier and more balanced than stock darts, therefore they fly further, although the tips generally are made from felt or hot glue domes, so there is more of a risk of it hurting, although slim.

I'm going to Carolina
... in my mind.

Nasrin:
[quote="Mumorpuger" post="7.379100.14849796"]
Meet me at the Fortress of Solitude in a fortnight to discuss plans.

Wait. You can hold meetings at the Fortress of Solitude? But...but...it's for solitude!

I predict the zombies overwhelming the humans in short order. Hopefully you have a restart plan.

Archon:

Nasrin:
[quote="Mumorpuger" post="7.379100.14849796"]
Meet me at the Fortress of Solitude in a fortnight to discuss plans.

Wait. You can hold meetings at the Fortress of Solitude? But...but...it's for solitude!

No, no. We just call it that so visitors don't invite themselves over... when they happen to be on an evening jaunt around the Arctic.

Of son of the!!! Ok I am officially regretting not going to that expo as I always want to play that sort of game!!!

So it's kind of like what Roosterteeh did?

Damn it I wish I could go :(

Aw man, I wasn't interested in the expo at all until I read this. HvZ is awesome, speaking as a human (and two time squad leader) who survived to the final battle in all three seasons he was able to play at his university. Two of those three seasons were human victories; our humans are seriously badass.

Edit: By the way, if socks are allowed, I can't recommend them enough. A good sock ninja is worth two guys with vulcans. I once took out eight zombies singlehandedly with nothing but socks.

Nasrin:

Mumorpuger:
Do we need to bring our own guns?

Sock grenades will be provided. We'll be posting the official rules in a short while. What we do know is that people can bring their own nerf guns, but they must pass inspection and be registered before they can be used anywhere within the expo to ensure safety. The guns can not be altered in any way, including alterations to paint or firing mechanisms. Further, all participants must agree to not fire a nerf weapon upon anyone not participating in Humans vs. Zombies or outside of The Expo on public grounds. Only participants of Humans vs. Zombies will have permission to use nerf guns on Expo grounds, and it must be while actively playing the game. This is to ensure that everyone at Expo has a good time, including both the HvZ participants and the bystanders.

Is there anywhere we could buy a Nerf gun around the Expo area? As trying to transport a gun-like object on an international flight will be laughably hard for us UK people :(

Oh my this sounds like a lot of fun but my nerf gun is broken. Looks like I will have to begrudgingly buy a new one or just watch from the sidelines and take pictures.

shame I can't join in the fun :(

I feel sorry for anyone who would be rooming with Patient Zero, middle of the night, "RRRARGH YOUR A ZOMBIE NOW!!!"
"Damnit Bob, I JUST finally fell asleep!"

Seriously though, the more we get news on what's happening with the event, the more excited I get, I just hope they have extra ammo, cause I've only got an 8 shot revolver...maybe I can use the money I'm saving on travel and rooming (getting free ride from grandparents and free housing from cousins) to buy myself a nice new shiny N-gun...

This Expo = Epic and getting more epic!

Question: Will this just be going on through the whole expo while other events are going on? Or is there a set area that things will only take place in or set areas it wont(assuming the later) but knowing ahead of time will be nice ^_^ thank you!

cricket chirps:
Question: Will this just be going on through the whole expo while other events are going on? Or is there a set area that things will only take place in or set areas it wont(assuming the later) but knowing ahead of time will be nice ^_^ thank you!

Well, there will certain zones that are off limits, such as presentations and panel discussions. We'll have all the specifics for you guys before the event.

TimeLord:

Nasrin:

Mumorpuger:
Do we need to bring our own guns?

Sock grenades will be provided. We'll be posting the official rules in a short while. What we do know is that people can bring their own nerf guns, but they must pass inspection and be registered before they can be used anywhere within the expo to ensure safety. The guns can not be altered in any way, including alterations to paint or firing mechanisms. Further, all participants must agree to not fire a nerf weapon upon anyone not participating in Humans vs. Zombies or outside of The Expo on public grounds. Only participants of Humans vs. Zombies will have permission to use nerf guns on Expo grounds, and it must be while actively playing the game. This is to ensure that everyone at Expo has a good time, including both the HvZ participants and the bystanders.

Is there anywhere we could buy a Nerf gun around the Expo area? As trying to transport a gun-like object on an international flight will be laughably hard for us UK people :(

Yes, there are many places that you might procure a nerf gun in the area. I think they even sell them in drug stores, hehe.

JokerboyJordan:

The Rogue Wolf:
I think I may have to go shopping for a Nerf gun this weekend.

Dastardly:
Of particular interest (and danger) are lovely li'l critters known in the community as "Stefans."

...do I even want to know?

They're just homemade Nerf darts, named after the popularised maker of them. They are heavier and more balanced than stock darts, therefore they fly further, although the tips generally are made from felt or hot glue domes, so there is more of a risk of it hurting, although slim.

Hehe, you might choose to mention that the ones with "felt" tips only have the felt as covering for a metal washer... But otherwise, yeah, those are the critters. And, to someone who isn't used to them, they can sting -- especially when you consider that folks using stock ammo will tend to be in much closer.

That's the biggest risk with that type of ammunition. If other people aren't expecting it, they will unknowingly put themselves in the exact situations where that type of dart can hurt. It might not cause injury, but it wouldn't take much to bring the game to a grinding halt.

The Escapist Staff are taking on quite the project with this, and demonstrating a ton of trust in the community's better judgment. I just figured I'd let them know about something problematic that might crop up.

Modded ammo is a much bigger problem than a modded blaster.

Mike Kayatta:
Well, there will certain zones that are off limits, such as presentations and panel discussions. We'll have all the specifics for you guys before the event.

You maaaaaaaay want to tape off "zombie free" areas just outside the doors of those zones, to avoid a clusterhug while players (and non-players) enter/exit.

Dastardly:

JokerboyJordan:

The Rogue Wolf:
I think I may have to go shopping for a Nerf gun this weekend.

...do I even want to know?

They're just homemade Nerf darts, named after the popularised maker of them. They are heavier and more balanced than stock darts, therefore they fly further, although the tips generally are made from felt or hot glue domes, so there is more of a risk of it hurting, although slim.

Hehe, you might choose to mention that the ones with "felt" tips only have the felt as covering for a metal washer... But otherwise, yeah, those are the critters. And, to someone who isn't used to them, they can sting -- especially when you consider that folks using stock ammo will tend to be in much closer.

That's the biggest risk with that type of ammunition. If other people aren't expecting it, they will unknowingly put themselves in the exact situations where that type of dart can hurt. It might not cause injury, but it wouldn't take much to bring the game to a grinding halt.

The Escapist Staff are taking on quite the project with this, and demonstrating a ton of trust in the community's better judgment. I just figured I'd let them know about something problematic that might crop up.

Modded ammo is a much bigger problem than a modded blaster.

I doubt whoever will be checking the blasters will be able to tell simple spring or voltage mods, as they leave no evidence of tampering.

JokerboyJordan:
I doubt whoever will be checking the blasters will be able to tell simple spring or voltage mods, as they leave no evidence of tampering.

Unless you're familiar with the model in question. It's not hard to tell when a blaster is a bit tougher to prime, or a lot louder when dry-fired, or whirring a bit higher than normal. Odds are, they'll have folks in that 'department' that know what they're looking for.

1. Check barrels. The addition of brass or PVC tubing make for a tighter fit, which (when coupled with more spring power) increases velocity. If it's re-barreled, odds are it's spring-modded, too. (Otherwise, the tighter barrel would actually hurt performance.)

2. Prime and dry-fire. If you hear more "clang" or "whack" than "puff," the air restrictors are probably removed. (Many times, you can tell this by looking down the barrel anyway). "Clang" sounds usually point to high-powered springs.

3. I'd highly recommend a battery check. Standard batteries only. If someone's upping the voltage, they'll have an RC car battery (or something similar) in there. At the beginning of the line, simply post a notice that anyone with battery-powered blasters should have the battery compartment opened by the time they reach the front.

4. Most importantly, check the ammo. All of these modifications really only improve distance or rate-of-fire, and pose no additional risk of injury beyond what is normal for the stock blaster. In fact, many of these mods reduce accuracy when using stock darts (which means that most mods are an indicator of non-stock ammo). The weighted-tip ammo is more accurate in high-powered blasters, and that extra weight is what adds risk of injury.

A stock blaster using modded ammo is far more "dangerous" than a modded blaster using stock ammo.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Aw man, I wasn't interested in the expo at all until I read this. HvZ is awesome, speaking as a human (and two time squad leader) who survived to the final battle in all three seasons he was able to play at his university. Two of those three seasons were human victories; our humans are seriously badass.

Edit: By the way, if socks are allowed, I can't recommend them enough. A good sock ninja is worth two guys with vulcans. I once took out eight zombies singlehandedly with nothing but socks.

Indeed. Simple = better, in nearly all cases. And as with a real zombie outbreak situation, if you're in all-out combat, you've done something wrong (like failed to take an opening to escape).

Your "weapon" is just there to buy you time and space to escape. If it's clunky, there goes your space. If it takes too long to prime and/or reload, there goes your time. And since it'll be brightly colored, it makes you a target. You might as well be carrying a squirming, screaming toddler.

That said, the blasters are way more fun.

Such a shame that my fall semester starts that week >.< Oh well, have fun!

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