By Zachary Sylvester, Staff Writer
As the final socks and foam Nerf darts hit the ground, Humans vs. Zombies comes to an end after another successful semester. The game, which ran from April 8th to the 14th, saw the addition of a new aspect this semester: sponsorship.
The Table Gaming Club has been running Humans vs. Zombies for about a decade, according to club president John Pich. This is the first time that player sponsorship has been a part of the game, though. This semester, anyone could sponsor a human player for the duration of the game. A dollar amount was picked by the sponsor, and this amount was pledged for every day the human survived. The money gained from sponsorship was donated to Toys for Tots, which provides toys to the children of parents who cannot afford them.
“It seems to be going pretty well,” Pich said, while the game was still in progress. “I believe we’ve got, I want to say twelve sponsors right now.” Pich is a senior creative writing major, and has been a part of Humans vs. Zombies for three years.
Sponsors could be family members, friends, business owners, or team mates. Player Sophie Schell, a first-year creative writing major sponsored player Dan Keller, a first-year psychology major.
This semester was Schell’s first game, and she was eager to participate. “I decided I really wanted to play Humans vs Zombies, and what they told us is ‘get sponsored,’ but I didn’t think that I was going to last very long,” Schell said. Because she doubted her own ability to stay alive for the duration of the game, Schell decided to entrust Keller with the arduous task of surviving for as long as possible.
Keller, who is now a seasoned veteran of two Humans vs. Zombies games, noticed a difference between being a player, and being a sponsored player. “It gives me a much better reason to stay alive,” he said. “Not only is this for my own personal goal of surviving until the end, but it’s for charity.”
Pich will be forced to step down from his position when he graduates, so it is unknown if the Table Gaming Club will continue to include sponsoring in future games. “It does seem to be successful so far,” Pich said. “I would say ‘yes.’”
Humans vs. Zombies is an incredibly popular game at the University of Maine at Farmington, and the money provided to Toys for Tots makes it all the more renown. The next Humans vs. Zombies game will most likely start in mid-Fall, 2016.