Each semester, Claremont HvZ organizes a 5 day game of moderated tag called Humans vs. Zombies. The game involves both “human” and “zombie” players. Zombies attempt to tag humans. Humans defend themselves against zombies by tagging zombies either with a dart fired from a foam dart blaster or a thrown balled-up sock.

All foam dart blasters are brightly colored and do not resemble actual firearms. Over the course of the week, participants complete a series of carefully moderated missions and projects. With over 500 players, Humans vs. Zombies is one of the largest substance-free activities to take place at the Claremont Colleges.

Non-players can identify participants by the colored bandanas they wear on their arms/head. Participants have strict instructions not to interfere with non-players, and the Claremont HvZ moderation team has designed a rule set in conjunction with the administrations at each of the Claremont Colleges to ensure that classes and non-players are not disrupted.

Some of the missions involve props, such as empty cardboard boxes that players retrieve. All such game props will be labeled with stickers or writing saying “Claremont HvZ Game Prop. Please do not disturb”.

If at any point during the game you have a question or a concern, you can reach the on-duty moderator by emailing mod@claremonthvz.org.

Day Spawn Timers

Although the default stun time is 10 minutes, between 8 AM and 6 PM, each campus can have a lower stun time. Being on a campus decreases your stun timer the campus cap if it would otherwise be above it. These times can be found on the live update page and can change throughout the week as results of missions.

DBAJ (Don't Be A Jerk)

The core rule of HvZ is DBAJ - Don't Be a Jerk! This means acting respectful, polite, friendly, and fair to your fellow players (and the mod team).

Insulting other players, marginalizing players based on their identity, physically/sexually harassing players, purposefully injuring players, and generally making others uncomfortable or unsafe is a clear DBAJ violation. Any such violation should be reported to the moderators. Other violations are decided by the mods. The mod team reserves the right to eject any player who violates DBAJ from the game, either temporarily or permanently.

If you are unsure of something, ask yourself: "Am I being a jerk?". If you think the answer might be 'yes', don't do the thing!


There are restrictions on what kinds of darts are allowed in the game. In general, darts used in play must be soft-tipped, foam, and unmodified by the player. In particular:

  • Any Nerf brand darts are allowed in the game.
  • There is a popular brand of knockoff elite darts that come in either green, red, or light blue. They have soft tips and are the same length as Nerf elite darts. These darts are ALLOWED.
  • Darts with hard or solid tips are NOT ALLOWED in the game. There is a particular brand of these darts that human players sometimes buy by mistake. They have solid rubber tips and look almost exactly like Nerf elite darts, but are a slightly darker shade of blue. These darts are very dangerous and we ask that our players turn them in to the mod team if they see any of these darts in the game.
  • Any dart that has been modified is NOT ALLOWED in the game. For instance, you may not line the inside of a dart with anything, alter the length of a dart, or alter the tip of the dart in any way.
  • Any darts not covered by the above cases must be brought to the moderator team for approval. Until such approval is granted, these darts are NOT ALLOWED in the game.


Players should pretend that non-players do not exist in respect to the game -- they likely have a reason for not wanting to play. Non-players may not help or hinder players from either team, and any offers by them to do so must be denied. For example, you may not:

  • Shoot non-players
  • Ask non-players for information about other players (you should also void receiving offered information from non-players)
  • Use non-players as shields

Non-players may not:

  • Open doors for players
  • Collect darts


All players will have a bandana of the same color. Humans wear it on their upper arm, above the elbow. Zombies wear it on their head while active or around their neck while inactive (stunned).


A tag occurs when a zombie touches a human with one hand and one hand only. Noodlers are the only class that may tag with anything other than the hand. Once a human is tagged, they turn into a stunned zombie for 10 minutes, then become active. However, during night missions, a tagged human becomes a zombie after only 3 minutes.


If a zombie is hit by a moving dart, disc, or sock, that zombie is stunned (inactive). Ricochets count except off of the ground. Zombies hit by a projectile are stunned for 10 minutes.

Stuns achieved by a dart or sock to the face of a zombie DO NOT COUNT.


Inactive zombies may be stunned. If an inactive zombie is stunned, their stun timer is set to their current stun-timer or 3 minutes, whichever is greater.

Stunned Zombies

Stun timer (for zombies stunned by humans) is 10 minutes but can be shortened during day play (See Day Spawns section) and at night missions.

When a human ask a zombie how much longer the zombie will be stunned, the zombie is required to correctly answer the question.

When a zombie is stunned, they cannot be part of the game in any way. This includes blocking for other zeds, calling for help, or doing anything that might help zombies.

Feed Codes

All players are given a feed card with a five letter feed code on it. Humans must carry this feed card with them at all times. Once tagged, a human must give the feed card to the zombie who tagged him or her. The zombie will then enter it into the feed page as soon as possible.

If a human player forgets their feed code or loses their card, the mods can help them access their code.


You may throw socks instead of shooting darts at zombies in order to stun them.

Socks may only be reinforced with other socks (e.g. not putting rocks in them, not taping them, etc.). Socks must be washed and unworn in order to be used during HvZ. The Nerf Tomahawk is considered equivalent to a sock despite not being worn on the feet inside of a shoe. You may throw any number of socks at a time.

You may throw an entire container (for example a laundry basket) of socks at a zombie but cannot throw the container itself. If the container has any form of propulsion (pneumatics, torsion, elastic, springs, etc) then it is considered a sock launcher and must be approved just like modified blasters.

No matter the method of propulsion, a sock only successfully tags a zombie if it is midair at the time of tagging.


Each day both humans and zombies will receive a day and night mission. Missions will include special rules and objectives differing from those listed here. Missions offer fast paced action and teamwork and can change the course of the story. Showing up is highly encouraged!

Day mission emails go out around 8 a.m.; night mission emails at 4 p.m..

Briefing for night mission always starts at 6:45 PM in the SCC courtyard, and the story cutscene begins 5 minutes before that (6:40). A Global Ceasefire will be declared each night from 6:00 to 7:00 to allow humans to get to the night mission. Humans and zombies will always meet in the same location to brief for night missions.


In the event that a tag or stun is disputed between a human and zombie player, one of the two players will shout "Parley". The two disputing players must then approach each other, put their hands on one another's shoulders, discuss the situation, and attempt to reach a solution. While two players are parleying, neither can be tagged or stunned. If there is no agreement, the zombie will escort the human to a safe zone and in doing so will then be stunned for 3 minutes. If the dispute is the result of a rules question, consult the on-duty moderator.

You MUST actually say “Parley” before you are considered under parley.

In general, questions that arise during disputes should be referred to a moderator. The moderator always has the final call.

Blaster Modifications

Dart modifications and custom darts (stefons) are banned.

Blaster modifications need to be approved by a moderator prior to the game. This applies to both cosmetic and functional modifications. Moderators will generally use the following guidelines for judging whether a modification is acceptable, but may reject any blaster deemed unsuitable for any reason.

  • Blasters may not have sharp edges or other hazardous elements.
  • Blasters may not fire over 85 feet.
  • Blasters may not hurt when fired at point blank range.
  • Blasters may not leave a mark when fired.
  • Blasters must be brightly colored and not resemble real firearms. You MAY NOT remove the blaze orange tip or repaint the body of the blaster.
  • Homemade blasters (such as sock cannons) need to be approved by moderators prior to the game, just like modifications.
  • Blasters modded by replacing the battery may not use more than two AA-sized trustfires, or equivalent.

There is a 3-strike rule for any violation of this policy. 1. Warning 2. Mission ban 3. Game ban


Shanahan Center

The antechamber of the Shanahan Center (inside at the top of the stairwell, outside the large auditorium) at Harvey Mudd is the HvZ daytime basecamp. This is where you can find the mod on duty during the day. This is where you can come for supplies, zombie upgrades and questions/concerns.

Play Zones

The game is played on the 5Cs. Off campus is out of play. The game is played AT ALL TIMES. If you sign up, please abide by this rule; the zombie apocalypse does not take breaks.

Safe Zones

Humans in a safe zone may not be tagged. Zombies leaving a safe zone are stunned for 3 minutes. Humans may shoot from most safe zones, if it is safe to do so and it doesn't disrupt non-players. Humans must have 2 feet firmly planted on the ground inside of the safe zone to be considered safe. Humans may not shoot from any safe zone at Scripps, or any academic building.

As of now, classrooms within academic buildings are no-play zones, and you must remove all game gear before entering class, including your bandana.

As of Fall 2015, at the request of college administration, indoors for all dormitories on all campuses are safe zones.

Confusing or unusual safe zones may be labeled with blue painter's tape on the ground.

These locations are safe zones at all of the schools:

  • Dormitories, including halls, rooms, suite common rooms, and suite balconies (e.g. Mead suites, Atherton suites).
  • All bathrooms, kitchens, and elevators
  • The Inside of all dining halls, including outdoor dining areas within the confines of the dining hall (Frary’s steps and outdoor tables are NOT safe zones but the Fenced in area at the Hoch is)
  • Academic and administrative buildings as well as places of business such as the Coop Store and Coop Fountain (these include the indoor hallways of these buildings)
  • The Scripps and Honnold/Mudd Library, including the patios to the North and South of Honnold/Mudd.
  • Any computer lab (including labs that are not separated by doors, such as Stark Hall at CMC)
  • Student Centers (SCC, Platt, etc.)
  • Any location during a club meeting, sports practice, or sporting event.
  • Statue gardens and museums

No-Play Zones

In no-play zones, you are to act as if the game does not exist, and you may not engage in ANY game-related activity within them. If you are within one for any extended period of time, you must remove your bandana and put away any game-related items/weapons you are carrying.

No-play zones include:

  • stairs anywhere on the 5Cs
  • the Village, and generally any location outside the boundary of the Claremont Colleges
  • certain buildings (check the campus-specific rules for details)
  • roads
  • academic classrooms

Global Ceasefires

Moderators will occasionally declare a global ceasefire. During a ceasefire, every location normally in play becomes a no-fire safe zone. No humans may stun zombies and no zombies may eat humans.

Every day, there is a global ceasefire from 6:00 to 7:00. This gives humans a chance to get to the SCC before the night mission.

On Saturday, there is be a global ceasefire from 8 AM until the beginning of final mission.


The busy roads of 6th Street, 9th Street, College Avenue, and Platt Boulevard are considered out of play. Play is frozen in the street. No one can tag, shoot, stun, or be stunned while in the street or 5 seconds after leaving the street. You may not prevent someone from entering or leaving the street. You must cross a street along the shortest path possible. You may not use a street as an alternative to the sidewalk. Use common-sense and don't get hit by a car.

Do not cross a street for the express purpose of avoiding another player. Do not cross a street more than once in a single encounter.



These are a serious safety hazard. You MAY NOT use vehicles, even self propelled ones like bicycles or scooters. If you MUST use a vehicle for academic or emergency reasons, TALK TO THE MODERATORS.

Campus Facilities

Please be respectful of all the 5Cs at all times. The administrations are letting us play this game on their property, and we need to treat it with deference.

  • The Keck Science Center has a courtyard on the ground floor that is in play, but the open-air walkways on the second floor are NOT in play, so you may not shoot from here. The rest of the building should be treated as an academic building.


In-Play Hours

Scripps is only in play from 9 AM until 9 PM. Do not go onto the Scripps campus outside of these hours unless you live there, have a club meeting there, or have class there. You must go around Scripps outside of those hours, you can not cut through it.

Safe Zones

All dormitories at Scripps are safe zones, as in all colleges. For clarification on Scripps, this includes the entire interior of the buildings, interior courtyards (secret gardens), and anything else that requires keycard access. All academic buildings are safe zones. This includes outside portions of academic buildings (like steps or patios). This also includes Balch and the Humanities Building Courtyard. The following locations are also safe zones: Margaret Fowler Garden, Seal Court, the rose garden, the gated gardens of Denison Library, Steele Hall (as taped off), the Rose Garden, and the humanities building.

All safe zones at Scripps are no fire/no camping safe zones. That means humans can't use blasters or socks while inside them and zombies cannot camp entrances or exits and must allow players a chance to leave safe zones unharmed.

Respect plant life

Scripps has lots of pretty flowers and trees around the building. You may not climb trees, step on flowers, walk on mulch, or hide in bushes on the Scripps campus.

Zero Tolerance

At Scripps, we have a zero tolerance policy regarding these rules. If we find out that you have broken a Scripps rule, you will be ejected from the game. Depending on the severity of the rule, you may be banned from future games. We also may report you to campus safety, the Scripps administration, and/or the administration of your own college.


  • At the request of Administration, you may not jump the fence next to the Hoch, although your friends may fire out of it.
  • You may not jump over the wall separating the Mudd campus from the sidewalk next to Foothill. The area over the wall up until the edge of the sidewalk is in play because it is Mudd property but you may not go over the wall to get there.
  • Hixon Court is a safe zone. The stairs to Hixon Court are our of play, like all other stairs. At the top of the stairs is a 3 foot safe zone.
  • The footprint of the Shanahan building, marked by blue tape, is a safe zone.


The following special rules apply on the Pomona campus:

  • The SCC is a safe zone with boundaries delineated by blue painters tape.
  • Turrell Skyspace is a no-play zone.
  • The entire Seaver Theater Complex, including the courtyard, is a safe zone.
  • The museum spaces and the courtyard between the museum and Thatcher is a safezone due to art work and sculptures. *The new studio art building at Pomona is a no-play zone. This includes the entire footprint of the building as well as the area inside the "U".
  • While the Pomona Art Museum is already a safe zone due to it being a campus building, we have been asked to explicitly mention it as such.
  • Please also note that all activities associated with Art after Hours are a safe zone.
  • Please maintain a safe distance from all other outdoor art and art installations to avoid damaging them.
  • The courtyard of Millikan is a no-play zone.

Smith Campus Center

A safe zone covers the Smith Campus Center's entire cement area, beginning at the bottom of its steps and at the end of the covered archways. Usually, blue tape marks the edges of this safe zone.

Human Classes


NPCs (non-player characters) may appear during day or night missions. Each NPC is a unique character with their own powers and weaknesses, and has a distinctive appearance. The details for each unique NPC will be explained in mission emails and at pre-mission briefings.


Moderators organize the game, run missions, and arbitrate disputes.

Moderators can be identified by the green Mod T-shirts they wear when on duty. If they are not wearing their Mod shirt, they are not on duty and are playing.

While performing moderator duties, moderators are out of the game. This means that if you see a mod wearing their green Mod shirt, they are NOT in play.

A moderator can usually be found on duty at Shanahan Center. You can reach a moderator by emailing mod@claremonthvz.org. Moderators can help with any questions you have, as well as rules violations or issues of player safety/comfort.

Special Infected

Wolf Pack

Wolf pack zombies draw strength from the pack. All members of a pack may regenerate together by retreating to a location where they cannot be seen by any human, joining hands, and chanting "Brains brains brains" 10 times. At that time, the stun timers of all pack members are cleared.

They are identifiable by their pink bandanas, which they wear alongside their normal bandanas.

Wolf pack is a night-mission-only upgrade, and can only be earned as a reward. Pack members can and will change from night to night.

Bone Zombie

Bone Zombies carry a small cardboard shield, with which they can block darts or zombie noodles.

The shield will have a number of finger-sized holes through it, into which the zombie's fingers are placed to hold the shield. The arm holding the shield may not be used to tag humans or zombies in any way. Humans cannot stun the fingers in the shield.

A bone shield costs 8 meals (for a full upgrade) or 4 meals (armory-only upgrade).


Noodlers can be identified by the foam noodle they carry. Noodles vary in color. In Spring 2017, they are gray.

Noodlers can tag humans with their noodle and can be stunned by humans on their noodle. Noodlers tagging zombies may only tag on the upper arms, as normal.

It takes 4 meals to become a noodler (full upgrade), or 3 meals (armory-only upgrade).

Double Tap

The double tap (DT) is a more resilient type of zombie.

Double tap zombies can be identified by their bright yellow-green pinney vest or T-shirt.

Double tap zombies need to be hit twice within thirty seconds to become stunned. They are unimpeded after the first hit.

A double tap upgrade costs 6 meals (full upgrade) or 3 meals (armory-only upgrade).