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What I learnt at Zombie School

Wow, I can’t believe it has been over a month since my last blog post! For anyone who has been anxiously awaiting an update I do apologise, and hopefully this epic post will make up for it! I have had such a hectic month, quite possibly the busiest month of my life in terms of socialising and work: a trip to visit family; a Snoop Dogg concert; 20 events to coordinate at work; two fundraising days for Marie Curie; a Fairytale Ball and most excitingly three separate zombie experiences! Probably a few other things along the way, but that’s what springs to mind right now. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will tell you about my zombie experiences…. in three separate posts in the hope that I don’t bore you to death! I’ll state now that I have written the blog posts pretty quickly in an effort to get them posted before the weekend is over (and I want to chill with a bottle of Bud before bed). The spelling and grammar may be off, but to be honest I’m just too exhausted to go through it all with a fine-toothed comb so I hope you’ll forgive me 🙂

Perhaps you recall my post earlier this year about 2.8 Hours Later: Asylum, the city wide zombie chase game? If you didn’t, or you’ve forgotten all about it then you can recap my post here. Well 2.8 Hours Later came to Newcastle this month. My first experience was Zombie School, yes that’s right, Zombie School! On arrival at Zombie School (in a real school might I add) my fellow classmates and I started with a briefing session where we learnt all about the game, the rules, the different types of zombies used in the game etc, etc. We also learnt that it was possible to fail zombie school… I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t the only person who looked a bit concerned at that point, I mean, imagine FAILING Zombie School, wow that would be embarrassing! Having never taken drama classes before or even practised my zombie roar I anxiously asked the people sitting around me if they had any experience… of course they did, they were both taking A-level Drama, that really had me worried!

After our briefing session we all trailed outside to the local park (public park might I add, and on a Saturday morning) where we were shown how to make a multitude of different zombie noises; squeals, groans, shrieks and anything else you can think of. We were taught, by one terrifying zombie (see here for a video), how to walk like a zombie, and not just one type of walk but at least five different styles of zombie walk – dragging one foot behind you, leading with one particular limb, sky-hook zombie (imagine you have a meat hook in your nose that is practically lifting you off the ground), the knock-kneed zombie, drunken stagger. But it didn’t stop there; we were shown how to sit or lie on the floor and how to get up off the floor like a zombie – very important in case you need a rest on the night as you must ALWAYS stay in zombie character unless it’s an emergency. We were shown how to turn around, how to start chasing people, how to safely chase and safely tag players, all the while being assessed on your zombie skills so that the organisers knew your strengths and could decide on where best to place you within the game. As mentioned, all of this was taught and practiced with an audience of passers-by. At that point I was so grateful that I was 20+ miles from home and didn’t know anyone in the area!

I’m pleased to say that my fellow classmates and I all passed zombie school, yay! Unfortunately we didn’t get a certificate, I’d quite like to hang something like that on my wall at home, but we did get a free ticket to play the game so beggars can’t be choosers as the saying goes. I signed up to my ‘zombie night’ and was on my merry way, anxious to play the game. After Zombie School I was a little apprehensive about being a zombie, as less than 90 minutes of practice had left me achy from using muscles that have never been used before, and a rather sore throat from all of the unworldly noises I’d been making.

To read about my experience of running away from the zombies please click here.

To read about my experiences as a zombie please click here.

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Who’s scared of zombies? Not me!

I don’t know about you, but for me pay day could not come quick enough this month. January always seems to drag on forever, and since I get paid early in December, waiting for pay day is like waiting for Christmas when you’re a kid. I’ve had loads to sort out this month: paying off the credit card after buying some lovely new hiking boots in the January sales (obviously a necessity for my upcoming adventure!); hotels, flights and train tickets for my birthday celebrations; vets bill for the devil kitten (neutered so she can explore the big world outside the window); and tickets to take part in what looks like the most exciting interactive game I have ever seen that is available in the UK!

2.8 Hours Later: Asylum

Simon Evans, who co-founded 2.8 Hours Later, describes the game as becoming a character in your very own horror film. 

The lines between reality and game are constantly blurred and broken, and hearts genuinely do get pumping and minds start racing.

Now, maybe I’m not quite right in the head…. but when I watch that trailer and read that description I just can’t wait for the games to begin! I’ve always loved a good horror film, and although I have no desire to be in a real-life horror film situation, I think it’ll be great fun playing the game. Plus, as an avid viewer of The Walking Dead (hands down the BEST TV show out there as far as I’m concerned) I’ve often wondered whether I would survive a Zombie Apocalypse, or Zombocalypse (it’s a real word, I saw it on the internet somewhere which obviously means it’s real!) and isn’t this the safest way to find out? I mean, I’d hate to have to wait until it actually happened to find out how good/bad my survival skills are, so this will be a good test, and like any good test it will highlight my strengths and weaknesses so I know what areas I need to work on. See, it’s not about having fun, it’s all about personal development and survival…..honestly!

In addition to playing the game and being chased around by zombies, I also want to volunteer to be one of the infected, so I get to chase other people (yep, I have a mean streak!). To do this you must first go to Zombie School (if you are lucky enough to be accepted) which I have to say looks like great fun…

As soon as they start accepting applications for my local city I will be registering my interest to be a zombie, just keep your fingers crossed for me that I get in!