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Humans vs. Vampires celebrates ‘Dracula’ translations

| Monday, November 3, 2014

The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC) kicked off a campus-wide Humans vs. Vampires competition Tuesday, which will revamp the popular Humans vs. Zombies game by incorporating foreign language elements. The CSLC version celebrates Bram Stoker’s Dracula, one of literature’s most widely translated texts.

Similar to a game of tag, Humans vs. Vampires pits two teams against each other. The humans and vampires, each designated by bandanas, compete as they walk from class to class. Vampires try to tag humans with the ultimate goal of turning every human into a vampire by the end of five days. Humans can defend themselves using Nerf guns or balled up socks to stun vampires.

An advertisement for the game invited students to “celebrate the Dracula story and legend, solve riddles in foreign languages and survive a vampire invasion.”

Denise Ayo, assistant director for academic programs for the CSLC, said she first had the idea to link the popular game with foreign language studies during a conversation with a fellow faculty member about the many translations of Dracula.

“Humans vs. Zombies is a game played at college campuses across the country,” Ayo said. “I knew it was played here on Notre Dame’s campus. I figured [the CSLC] could sponsor this event and shift it a little to suit our language purposes. After all, vampires and zombies aren’t all that different.”

Junior Erik Mendoza, one of the moderators for this fall’s game, said he was excited about the new relationship between the CSLC and Humans vs. Vampires and the hope it provides for the game’s future on campus.

“Humans vs. Zombies has been around for almost four years now,” Mendoza said. “Through our cooperation with the CSLC, we have access to new resources and a more stable base for the future of the event.”

According to the CSLC website, the Humans vs. Vampires game at Notre Dame will last from Tuesday through Sunday. Additionally, there will be games or missions held every night, providing chances for players to win rewards and advantages for their team.

According to Ayo, the eight student moderators added foreign language elements to the nightly missions in order to raise awareness of the 13 foreign language majors and minors offered at Notre Dame.

“We’re really excited about this event,” Ayo said. “It’s helping to bring attention to the importance of language learning. The College of Arts and Letters is highly committed to making this language learning more central to a student’s education.”

The event will conclude with a public reading of Dracula in multiple languages Monday in the LaFortune Ballroom at 5.pm. Awards will be given to the player with the most tags, MVPs from the missions and the players with the best costumes.

Mendoza said that he expects there to be about 150 students participating in Humans vs. Vampires.

“Humans vs. Vampires is a fun and exhilarating game,” Mendoza said.  “I’ve met some of my best friends through it, and I know plenty of people who look forward to this single week for an entire semester.  It’s a great time, the community is nice, and we’re always looking for more people to join the undead legion.”

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, the Observer's current Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's a former Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

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