CU Students Battle Zombies in a Week Long Game of Tag

These days many people in the country are paying close attention to what’s happening in politics. But, as KGNU’s Julia Caulfield reports, last week nearly 400 students at CU Boulder were facing a much more serious threat. Zombies.

  • cover play_arrow

    CU Students Battle Zombies in a Week Long Game of Tag KGNU News


It seems like a calm, typical day on the CU Boulder campus. But unbeknownst to many, we are actually standing in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. It’s a week of Humans vs Zombies. A campus wide game of tag. Zombies try to kill humans, who try to survive the week.

A tag from a zombie kills a human, but if a human can hit a zombie with rolled up socks, nerf darts, or marshmallows the zombie will be stunned long enough for the human to make their escape.

Today the humans have a special mission. In this mission, the humans have to escort Charlie Sheen–or an organizer pretending to be Charlie Sheen–to three locations around the campus and take pictures.

“The plot basis is that Charlie Sheen, himself, has come to pull some publicity on the campus, and part of the idea is to prove to the world at large that Boulder is totally fine, there’s no zombie risk.”

That’s Brendan Craine, one of the organizers of Humans vs Zombies on campus. He’s been fighting zombies for six years. He says he keeps coming back to the fight because of the relationships you build.

“I think the reason I’ve stuck with it over the years is because it provides this really rare opportunity for people, especially of the geekier demographics, to sort of get out in the world, interact, and form these long lasting friendships, and there’s something that unites people about facing the apocalypse that no other activity can. I mean, we all talk about team sports, this is life or death!”

I’m embedded with the humans, but before we begin I get to chat with Matt Stewart, a new member of the zombie horde.

When did you die?


This morning?


That’s only half hour ago!

“But I’m okay with it.”

How did you become a zombie this year? What happened?

“I was just kind of blissfully wandering toward the Engineering Center when somebody just came flying by, tagged me on the back…didn’t die as gloriously as I wanted to.”

If you could die as a human, what’s the best way to go down?

“My ideal way of dying is charging into a horde of zombies, singlehandedly.”

Students engage in battle during Humans vs Zombies on the CU campus

That glorious death wasn’t meant to be this year, and Matt takes off to join the rest of the zombies. And soon we humans move out. Before you know it, we come upon two zombies, and the battle is on.

What just happened?

“So, big group of humans, with Charlie Sheen in the center came up on the Buffalo statue, and maybe 350-400 feet out we saw two zombies. A small number of zombies is always a concerning thing because there’s usually more of them, we just don’t know about. So Charlie Sheen…charged the zombies, in response to which the humans charged Charlie Sheen, there was a fracas, the zombies were stunned, the photo was quickly taken, and the humans fled once more to the second location.”

The second location is the Old Main building. The humans manage to get their photo, but not before there’s a human casualty.

Elise Bloom is a zombie this year, she didn’t start that way, but now she’s committed to being the best she can be.

Zombies are stunned during Humans vs Zombies outside the Old Main building

Can I ask how you died?

“One of my friends ate me”


“I know, it’s tragic, it’s tragic. Now my goal is to become Zombie Queen.”

What do you need to do to become Zombie Queen?

“Eat the most humans”

We make it to the final location, and the day ends with a win for the humans. But there are still three more days in this apocalypse world…and zombie horde continues to grow.

  • cover play_arrow

    CU Students Battle Zombies in a Week Long Game of Tag KGNU News

Picture of KGNU News



Now Playing

Recent Stories

Upcoming Events


This May 1st and 2nd, we’re encouraging you to give and to publicly express what KGNU personally means to you.

We join other public and local stations across the country for this second annual event. It’s your forum to support and champion how KGNU connects with your values.


Learn More