‘Walking Dead’ or just the NAVS?

A group of zombies catch their breath after chasing humans at the Kent NAVS Zombie Apocalypse event on campus on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016.

Davy Vargo

Kent State’s campus became the site of a hypothetical zombie apocalypse Friday night. The Kent State Navigators, a Christian group, hosted a Zombie Apocalypse game for all students.

Students gathered in Bowman Hall prior to the event, where NAVS director Buck Wilson explained the rules of the game, and served as the game’s storyteller.

Wilson said the NAVS organization at the University of Cincinnati played the game on their campus, and the Kent State NAVS wanted to bring the game to their own campus. So they tweaked the rules, made it more thematic, more nerdy, and—as Wilson said—”a lot more fun.”

Kent State NAVS tried the game as a test run last spring just within their own group. It turned out so well the group wanted to get the whole campus in on the fun.

Students received 300 FlashPerk points for attending the event.

Wilson said he doesn’t believe Christians playing a Zombie game is a contradiction. He referred to the Bible.

“In Luke, people come back from the grave when Jesus rises from the dead,” he said. “We have no problem with it, and we think it’s super fun.”

Wilson was excited to play the game himself and couldn’t wait to be a zombie.

A group of NAVS gathered in a back hallway, decked out in torn clothes and makeup.

Dressed in a deep red dress, senior fashion merchandise major Mallory Roman mingled with her zombie friends.

She suffered from two wounds — one on her forehead and one on her neck. She jokingly said she was excited to chase people and eat their brains.

“It should satisfy my thirst,” she said.

Perkins is a member of NAVS and said the group loves inviting people.

“We’re all broken,” she said. “We want to share our lives with people.”

Kelsey Perkins, a recent Kent State graduate, she made the trip from Columbus to attend the event. She had never played the game before and was excited just to see the campus again.

Later, during the game, Perkins was still laughing as she lay on the sidewalk after, according to a town checkpoint officer, a “bomb” went off. She’d been turned into a zombie with some of her comrades.

Wilson introduced the NAVS group to a room full of students ready to play.

“Our group is a place where we want people to come and ask questions,” he said. “We don’t run from questions. We like having skeptics.”

At the end of the rule explanation, a loud pounding sounded at the side door in the front of the room; It was the zombies.

The game began and teams of 4-5 raced to find check points (safe “towns”). Zombies snuck around and occasionally came out and chased the players. If zombies tagged the humans, the humans became zombies. The humans could try to kill the zombies by throwing marshmallows.

“Run, run,” as a zombie started running toward a team in the plaza.

Another time, two teams merged and whispered about the best technique to get to the safe town. They decided to head toward a parking lot until one team member urgently whispered, “That’s a zombie.” They changed direction and ran the other way.

The valid playing area included an area of campus free of major roads to encourage safe playing.

But one player still incurred a bloody lip injury by running into a wire while attempting to avoid an oncoming zombie.

Once a team made it to enough checkpoints, and had completed enough missions, they were given an extraction map to try to follow and win the game.

So, who survived the apocalypse? Around 15 winners who won a free Chipotle burrito.

Davy Vargo is a student life reporter, contact him at [email protected].