Commando Performance

The WashPo ruminates on the social significance of the activities of the brain-eating collegiate undead.

The 2005 inaugural Zombies game drew about 70 Goucher students. Since then, as many as 200 have played, making it one of the most popular student activities — even though it’s not an official student activity — among the school’s roughly 1,500 students. The game has spread to other campuses, with thousands of students playing this month at Cornell University, Penn State University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Maryland, among others.

But as Zombies’ popularity has grown, criticism of it has grown, too — especially since last April, when a severely disturbed English major named Seung Hui Cho armed himself with two semiautomatic handguns and killed 33 people, including himself, at Virginia Tech University. In the immediate wake of that shooting, Humans vs. Zombies became controversial, raising a collegiate version of the prevailing question of our time: What is the balance between security and freedom? And it prompts another fascinating question: What can a group of young people learn about one