By Kayla Lemay
There are the Nerf blasters again, is something you may have thought, or even said, these past few weeks.
A sign of another semester underway means yet another game of Humans vs. Zombies, where people run around with colored armbands, hitting each other with foam swords and Nerf darts. Most people on campus roll their eyes and call these students words like geek and loser.
Well, they are actually very normal people, believe it or not. How would I know? Because I also play this game, and have since my freshman year. It’s incredibly fun, and I’m not the only person that agrees, as there are currently 113 players – and this isn’t even the largest amount of people that have played at one time.
Most players are your average student – ones you wouldn’t take a second glance at when you saw them without their armbands and nerf blasters. Some of them are members of other clubs, some work on-campus jobs, and some are even involved in Greek life. Many of them are commuters, and still more live on campus.
This game is so addicting, even alumni come back to play. Jeff Venancio graduated this past May with a degree in Biology and has come back to play.
“I was going to be in the area anyways, I still have friends on campus, and I’m reliving my glory days,” said Venancio, who helped run the game for the past two years.
Jeffrey Feely, a junior majoring in business and economics, and James Lind, a senior majoring in technical theater, are two current moderators of the game.
“It’s an opportunity to give you something to do other than go to classes and then go home… and an opportunity to shoot nerf blasters,” Feely said.
Lind added, “It’s a huge community, a lot of people get to know each other and make friends. Relationships have been formed through the game.”
The moderators help enforce the rules and create the storyline, and are welcoming and accepting of anybody interested in playing.
Oftentimes players report hearing rude comments made from students walking by on the streets.
“Like any other game or sport, it’s just a game to have fun,” Lind said. “People are outside playing Frisbee, and nobody laughs at them. People mocking us and saying we’re kids for doing this – you’re playing with a baseball, that’s a kid thing. People get paid to do that. Why can’t we just have fun?”
Kevin Torres, a sophomore majoring in music education, agrees.
“If people think I’m a nerd for playing this game, I let them think that,” Torres said. “I’m not going to try to control your opinion or change it, I’m just going to have fun while I can.”
Feely also wanted to point out that everybody has their own nostalgia. Some have Pokemon, some have video games, and some have nerf blasters.
“This is one of those things that people can have that nostalgia and still be semi-cool,” Feely said.
So next time you see those fellow students of yours walking around with nerf blasters and chasing people around, don’t be so quick to judge their idea of fun.
Kayla Lemay is a Comment staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @klemay123.