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Twitter vs. Zombies: An Experimental Apocalypse

Twitter vs. Zombies: An Experimental Apocalypse

Imagine you're happily tweeting along when suddenly a zombie shambles from out of nowhere and #bites you. You now have five minutes to #dodge or hope that another human #swipes you from the zombie's grasp. You can only escape on your own or help someone else once per hour. And the rules of survival keep changing.

Having regularly played Urban Dead many years ago, I could not resist the chance to play another type of zombie game, this time on Twitter. The game, Twitter vs. Zombies, is both an online game of tag with emergent rules and an experiment on the affordances of social media. One of the new rules is that blog posts grant players a #safezone where they can be invulnerable for 1 hour. This is the first I'm establishing. 

But for this to count as a safe zone, I have to put in some work securing my location. So, some suggestions for future iterations of the game: there should be a Twitterbot that tracks all players and game actions. It could maintain lists of humans and zombies for others to follow. It could track statistics and declare when someone has been turned. It would also prevent invalid bites, track lost ones, and do all kinds of other useful things to keep the game running smoothly. 

After a cycle is over (i.e., either the game period ends or, as I'd prefer, when everyone is a zombie), the last standing human or most active or some other criterion should be rewarded in the next game with a weapon or some special power. Zombies should be required to change their avatars to reflect their undead state.

Watch the game spread through the Twitterverse, infecting ever larger groups of people. 

These may be my last words alive. Now I go to see if others need saving and to scrounge for supplies. The undead are coming, but I must brave the streets.


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