Why the undead have invaded Winona State

Winona State's full of these

If you’re wondering why hundreds of Winona State University students are chasing each other around campus this week, it’s because they’re playing a game that has become popular on a number of campuses across the country: Zombie Invasion.

It’s like a glorified form of tag in which a small group of students playing zombies roam the campus looking for victims. Once they “kill” other students, those students turn into zombies and start hunting, so soon you have a small number of students trying to avoid a huge mass of zombies.

(Something like that. The game has a number of variations going on at different schools. And you may be familiar with a vampire game that’s also played on a number of campuses, but I think that one takes place only at night. )

Here are the basic rules, the Winona Daily News reports:

At noon Monday people playing the game donned a red bandanna somewhere on their body letting players know they were human. Two people wore green bandannas, and they were the zombies.

When a zombie tags a human they are turned into a zombie. The new zombies can begin to tag humans once they change their colors from red to green. If a zombie fails to tag anyone within a week of being changed, they die of starvation and are out of the game.

And the only defense against the campus undead? Socks. When a zombie is hit with a sock it must freeze in place for 10 seconds.

(No mention of whether those have to be clean or dirty socks. I won’t ask.)

In any case, the game must be a heck of a sight for parents taking their high-school children on campus tours.

(No way I can poke fun, though. At the University of Georgia I played Dungeons & Dragons occasionally and dabbled in the Society for Creative Anachronism.)

The students are planning on running the game through this month and then starting another round in the spring. You can read more about the action here.