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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse Hits the Lower Haight Tonight

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM

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Imagine this: tonight, as you pass through Lower Haight, you see figures emerging out of the fog. They're shambling towards you with their arms outstretched, and they look suspiciously dead. No, wait ... they're undead!

When the zombie apocalypse hits San Francisco and thousands of ravenous corpses crawl out of the S.F. National Cemetery to feast on the brains of the living, you realize that you don't have any garlic on you. No, that's vampires. So what are you supposed to do? Mel Brooks' son Max recommends machetes and trench spikes in his Zombie Survival Guide, but you're fresh out.

So you're booking it down Haight Street as fast as you can in your high heels, while hordes of putrid predators give chase. Maybe the monks in the San Francisco Zen Center have some antizombie mind tricks up their robe sleeves, but how about you? If the undead were to rise tonight, would you be prepared?

Probably not, thinks The Go Game, an S.F.-based company that stages large-scale scavenger hunts, which is why it's hosting a Zombie-Survival-Disaster Preparedness Game tonight.

Using an iPhone 4 app, the Zombie Game staff will send teams of five to six people on various missions around the Lower Haight. Teams need to complete the missions without getting eaten, and record their zombie-dodging exploits for later judging.

But it's more than a giant game of tag, says the Go Game staff member Jenny Gottstein. There's also a Urban Disaster Warrior Training part, which draws on basic principles of urban disaster preparedness and teaches skills like wilderness survival techniques and wounds dressing. "There are also going to be piñatas and Nerf guns," Gottstein told SF Weekly. "But I'm not going into that."

Proceeds from the game's tickets are, somewhat appropriately, going to a nocturnal project, though this one is decidedly less gory: Project Night Night, an S.F. nonprofit that assembles nighttime "comfort kits" of books, blankets, and stuffed animals for homeless children.

The game was sold out by yesterday, to about 50 participants. "We'll probably have to roll out some more zombie-related chaos at some time in the future," Gottstein says.

But if you can't wait until the next Zombie Game, you can join the Go Game's third annual Street Food Festival Go Game, which will run for 16 days in August. There should be lots of yummy food involved, and hopefully not too many brains.

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Caroline Chen

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