By Will Grandbois
Sopris Sun Staff
I opened the door to the stairwell and found myself face to face with a trio of living dead. With a weapon in each hand, I did my best to fend them off — but even as I dispatched his brethren, one broke through my defenses and, with a touch, made me one of them.
“Humans vs. Zombies,” a sort of team-based marathon game of tag, has become a popular activity on college campuses since Brad Sappington and Chris Weed did it at Goucher in 2005. Although I succumbed to the plague, my aforementioned experience at CU Boulder was an extremely positive one; it was a layer of excitement that didn’t require me to take time out of my studies or even leave my dorm to play. The full rules are available at humansvszombies.org, but while we’re taking inspiration there for a new activity, The Sopris Sun is changing things up.
For starters, we’re replacing the zombies with vampires. We want to add to, not distract from, Thrill the World, and besides, vampires are more interesting to portray and slay. Rather than nerf guns and rolled up socks or even garlic and wooden stakes, we expect you to fight off our brand of undead with The Sun.
Also, Carbondale is not a college campus. While participants might encounter a vampire at the grocery store or a bar on a Friday night, it will be a lot more exciting if we create some opportunities to encounter the opposing team. As such, we’ll be instituting a point system to encourage active participation and hopefully allow us to crown some overall winners.
Here’s how it works:
We’ll be out and about registering people at First Friday and Potato Day. You can also sign up at Bonfire Coffee or Dandelion Market during business hours, or stop by our office at the Third Street Center from 9 to 5 Monday and Tuesday.
The game is traditionally free, and we plan to honor that, but we hope you’ll consider a $5 or $10 donation when you sign up to help support The Sun and our efforts organizing the game. You’ll get two bracelets — one yellow and one red. Don the yellow one beginning Friday the 13th and grab a paper to defend yourself. Vampires can’t tag you when you’re actively holding a copy of The Sopris Sun, but if you put it down or stash it in your back pocket, one little tag and you’re one of them. Surrender your yellow bracelet, don the red one and begin seeking out your prey.
Both teams will have the opportunity to earn stars for attending local events — we’ll keep you informed of which ones in the paper, on the website and through a special Facebook group. Vampires also get points for each human bracelet they obtain. After Halloween, the top scorer on each side (assuming any humans are left on Oct. 31) will be awarded with a small prize and the everlasting fame that comes from being featured in The Sun.
It should go without saying that we don’t want anyone undermining their safety or anyone else’s, but in this day and age it’s probably worth noting that folks are participating at their own risk. That said, the fun scales with involvement, so we hope you’ll sign up. Feel free to contact me with any questions at 510-0540 / firstname.lastname@example.org — or keep an eye out for the alter egos of the staff and board out perpetuating the battle between light and darkness.