As bullets fly through the air, students jump, roll, duck and dive, doing whatever they can to avoid sudden death at the hands of a foam dart.
This was the scene in Old University Union room 120 Thursday as the Zombie Student Association (ZSA) hosted its annual 3 versus 3 Nerf Tournament.
Like a modern day Western, each team started with their backs against the wall on opposite sides of the room. Each player was a single dart away from elimination, allowing for a maximum of 3 points for killing each opponent.
Masakazu Tanahashi, the president of the ZSA, said the right strategy for the game was to take time and think through every decision on the field.
“Patience is pretty key,” said Tanahashi, a senior majoring in psychology. “Knowing what kind of blaster you and your opponents are using is important, and also seeing their reloading pattern, because then you know when it is optimal to strike.”
Galen Merigliano, a freshman majoring in bioengineering, went into battle prepared to use his speed to his advantage.
“My strategy is to roll — lightweight and accurate — with my dual wielding triads,” Merigliano said. “I do think this is a winning strategy since agility is key to dodging Nerf bullets, and my gun is designed to be quick and accurate.”
Jennifer Gordon, a freshman majoring in computer science, said she was new to the ZSA’s tournament.
“I came because I like to shoot people just for fun,” she said. “I don’t really know how to play, but I am excited to try it out.”
Alexander Yasuna, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, participated in the event to take a study break.
“I came for fun because I had a really rough week,” Yasuna said. “Also, I took an exam that really sucked, so I wanted to de-stress, and this was a fun way to do so.”
Dylan Ferrara, a freshmen majoring in computer science, said the tournament brought out the competitive spirit among people with similar interests.
“This event brings together the people who love Nerf, who want to battle and who want to prove they are better than others,” Ferrara said. “Anything can happen.”
More than 20 students competed against each other in consecutive matches. The tournament served as practice for a charity event the ZSA will be hosting in the future.