Calvin College Chimes

Zombiefest terrifies and delights participants

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The apocalypse has begun at Calvin, complete with invading zombies and epic shooting showdowns. Caution tape and signs strewn through the hallways. Zombies roaming the halls moaning and chanting in “a positively frightening Zombie horde form,” according to Quentin Baker. Blasters levelled, fingers resting on the triggers.

No, this has nothing to do with the recent election. This is the fall Zombiefest event organized by Abstraction, a computer science student organization. This past Friday night, over 80 students armed with Nerf blasters gathered in the Science Building for a showdown: humans versus zombies.

This fall’s event lived up to expectations. Although many engineering and computer science students enjoy the event, Abstraction game admin Quentin Baker said, “Zombiefest is for everyone.”

Abstraction president Thomas Dykstra recommends it especially for those “who enjoy live action role-playing.”

One change the leadership of Abstraction made this year was an increased focus on safety. In addition to gathering prizes and taping off areas that were out of bounds, preparation for the event included a meeting with the building services staff. They considered safety standards and made plans to leave the engineering labs undisturbed.

“We worked with campus events and the administration to develop a solution that allowed us to hold our event while promoting safety even more,” Baker said.

Together, they were able to work out a plan balancing fun with safety. “We had to have everyone sign waivers, and we were limited to 100 participants,” Dykstra added.

In addition to using the building well, they also clarified the rules, hoping to encourage players to self-regulate. Said Baker, “We can’t wrap everyone in bubble-wrap and pad the walls; so we also spend time each year improving our ruleset to make sure students know where fun crosses the line.”

If you want to get involved, watch for posters announcing the next Zombiefest event. Baker was certain to add, “Even if you don’t have a nerf blaster collection rivaling that of a doomsday-prepper, we always need more zombies.”

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