Humans vs Zombies

Welcome to the Rod Library Humans vs Zombies website.  If you are unfamiliar with the game, the original Humans vs Zombies game began at Maryland's Goucher College in 2005.  It grew rapidly and is now played at over 650 colleges and universities across the world, as well as high schools, military bases, summer camps, and public libraries.  For more information you can check out the Humans vs Zombies "about" page.

This will be the Rod Libraries inaugural sponsorship of the game.  For this first run, we have created some basic guidelines/rules.  If you have played before, these rules may differ from other games.  Please read our rules carefully before you register to ensure you understand your commitment.  We are being supported, in part, by a grant from the UNI Diversity Committee.  Prizes will be awarded from The Core.  We are looking forward to surviving the apocolypse with you!

What is Humans vs Zombies?
Humans vs. Zombies is a week long, campus wide, game of tag.  Players begin as humans, and one or more is chosen to be the "Original Zombie." The Original Zombie tags human players and turns them into zombies. The zombie must tag and "feed" on a human every 24 hours or he/she starves to death and is out of the game. As a human, you can be tagged at any time when you are outside of a safe zone on campus. Be aware of your surroundings!

Above all the purpose of Humans vs Zombies is to have fun. The golden rule of any Humans vs Zombies game is "Don't be a Jerk!" Don’t try and bend the rules to help your personal agenda. We all just want to have fun and enjoy the game so obey the rules and use common sense.

Rule Summary

How does the game work?

Before the game, you must have an orange bandana. You will begin the game as a Human and should wear your bandana as an armband around your upper arm. If you are tagged by a Zombie (a player wearing an orange bandana around their head), you will become a Zombie and should wear your bandana around your head.

How do I play?

All buildings are “safe zones”, so all play will occur outside. When you walk outside, the Zombie horde will be watching and trying to tag you. You should carry around marshmallows or balled-up socks. Marshmallows or thrown socks will stun any Zombies that might attack. Since gameplay only occurs outside, you will only be playing HvZ when you travel between buildings. Be sure, as a Human, to keep your armband on your arm while you are outside.

What Must I do as a player?

  1. Login to to create an account.  Go to to find the University of Nothern Iowa Rod Library game and click "Join Game" after Oct 1.  The first 150 to register and turn in a signed waiver to the Rod Library Circulation desk will receive a free Humans vs Zombies orange bandana! 

  2. When registering, you will be assigned a card code. You must always keep this card code on you. If a Zombie tags you, you hand your card to the tagging Zombie.

  3. Participate in at least 2 missions.  There will be daily "missions."  You will be notified by email about these group activities designed to allow enhanced zombie/human interaction.  Successful mission completions will give your team advantages throughout the game.



To play HvZ you must:

  • Be a UNI student/staff/ or faculty* 
  • You must spend at least 2 hours a day on campus (excluding weekends)
  • Wear a visible bandana around your head and/or arm at all times
  • Continue to play the game after you have been changed into a zombie
  • Understand that, as a Zombie, socks and marshmallows will be flung at you
  • Turn in a signed participation waiver prior to the start of the event at the Rod Library Circulation desk.
  • Accept that your full name will be displayed on a public website
  • Participate in at least 2 missions
  • Understand that as a Human, the Zombie horde will be chasing you and attempting to tag you with their hands

* If you have a disability and would like to request accomodations, just include that information in your signed waiver form

General Guidelines:

  • No wheeled devices of any kind, unless you are a person with disabilities  
  • You must pick up your spent ammunition (socks and/or marshmallows)
  • Try not to cause physical damage to human or zombies, no biting, no hitting, no tackling, no head shots
  • Game will suspend everyday from 1:00am to 5:00am for Human/Zombie beauty rest
  • Non-participants: People who are not registered participants may not directly interact with the game.  Do not use non partipants as shields.
  • Be careful around non-participants.  If there is a risk of hitting a non-participant with socks/marshmallows don't throw it.

Before the Game The game will officially start at 5:01am on October 26th. Before the game starts, you must:

  • Register on the website
  • Create an ID card
  •  Receive or have an orange bandana
  • Sign and turn in a waiver to the moderators at Rod Library Circulation desk.

Required Equipment:

  • Orange Bandana
  • Socks or Marshmallows
  • One ID index card

Pre-Approved Equipment:

Rolled up clean socks. Socks are not be rolled up so tightly as to make them a solid mass. Socks should maintain their softness. One piece of tape (up to 12 inches) or 2 rubber bands may be used to hold socks together.
Marshmallows (not including peeps) can be used. Marshmallow shooters may not be used.

Human Rules

Conditions for Winning:

Humans win when the last zombie starves to death.

Wearing an Armband:

Humans must wear their orange bandana around their arm at all times. Humans should ensure their armband is as visible as possible (the bandana should be visible from all angles when the player’s arm is outstretched). The minimum width of the armband must be approximately 2-4 inches.

Stunning Zombies:

A zombie struck by a legal projectile (socks or marshmallows) is stunned for 2 minutes. When stunned, the zombies are non players and cannot interact with the game.  After 2 minutes if a zombie is stunned again (by the same human or different human) the 2 minutes begins again. The clock does not restart if a stunned zombie is hit again during the stun time.

A legal stun is when contact of marshmallow or sock is made to any part of a zombie’s person (book bags, umbrellas, purses etc. do not count, clothing does.)
Humans may only fling one projectile at a time.

Stunned zombies will move their bandana from their head to their neck during the stun time.

ID number:
Every Human player must keep one index card with their unique identification number on them at all times.

When tagged by a Zombie:
When tagged by a Zombie, a Human is required to distribute their ID card. 15 Minutes from being tagged a Human becomes a member of the Zombie team. During the 15 minute “incubation period” you must wear your bandana around your neck to indicate you are in transition. Incubating zombies can have no communication with the Zombie horde. After the incubation period you will move your bandana to your head and you can begin tagging humans.

Zombie Rules

Conditions for Winning:

The Zombies win when the Human team has no remaining members.

Wearing your Headband:
The Zombie team must wear a bandana around their head at all times. The only exception to this rule is for original zombies. Original zombies or “OZ’s” will not have to wear their headbands for their first 3 tags.

A tag is a firm touch to any part of a Human (book bags, purses, umbrellas etc. do not count- clothing does). After tagging a Human the Zombie must collect their ID card. Tags must be reported within three hours on the Rod Library Humans vs Zombies website.

Zombie must feed every 24 hours (excluding weekends). A zombie feeds by reporting their tag on the website. When you report a tag on the website you can choose two other zombies to join in the feed to satisfy their feeding schedule.

Getting stunned:
When hit with a sock or marshmallow a Zombie is stunned for 2 minutes. A stunned zombie may not interact with the game in any way.

A zombie may use a shield of a single object no larger than a binder (approximately 12 x 13), however, zombies are still stunned if it touches any part of you that is in contact with the shield (fingers, hands, mittens, gloves etc.)

*This includes shielding other zombies from socks/marshmallows or continuing to run toward a human.

Throughout the course of the game there will be missions. These missions often have rewards for those that complete them, but rewards may be kept secret until the winner is determined. Mission details will be sent by email and posted on the H v Z site.  Humans and Zombies both participate in the missions.  

Grace Periods:

There will be an announced grace period prior to all mission to allow humans to attend the mission. During this time, all humans are safe from being tagged. There will also be a post-mission grace period, the length of which will be determined by the outcome of the mission.

Safe Zones:

The interior of all University Buildings and within 5 feet of all entrances/exits. Everywhere else on campus is fair game. Parking lots and streets should be considered a “no play” zone. Don’t use “no play zones” as cover, stay out of these areas unless absolutely necessary. All construction zones are also off limits. Climbing is strictly prohibited. Do not climb trees, buildings etc. to prepare for an ambush. See map for fair game play area.

Humans cannot be tagged during class activities, or during fire or other emergency drills.

A zombie must have both feet outside of a safe zone to tag a human.

Stunning and Tagging in or near Safe Zones Zombies Tagging Humans:

A human with both feet inside a safe zone is safe. Zombies may not tag while they are inside a safe zone.

Humans Stunning Zombies:

Humans can stun out of a safe zone into a non-safe zone if and only if the human is intending to leave and the zombie is threatening safe exit.

Tagging/Stunning Disputes

Rule Violations:

All rule infractions should be reported to HvZ Moderators. Moderators will take appropriate actions.

Simultaneous/Disputed Tags:

Rock-paper-scissors, best two out of three, decides the outcome. The two players engaged in RPS cannot be stunned or tagged while deciding the outcome. Players not participating should give ample room to the RPS players. Once the outcome is decided, play resumes. If the human wins the RPS, he or she gets a 30 second head start to escape.