Twitter vs. Zombies: Best Practices

We’ve learned some things since the game began. People respond to things that are fun, especially when they also involve eating human flesh. They build community, they help each other out, they role play. They fumble around with tools they aren’t sure how to use. Now, after 18 hours, we want to collect some of the groupthink wisdom.

Reach out to others: Because of the limited numbers of bites, swipes, and dodges, it’s very hard to get anything done in the post-apocalypse on your own. During our human times, we waded warily onto Twitter, reaching out to others to provide back-up. If you’re registered, every tweet represents an entry into the game, so knowing who is online and can help you is key.

Drag your friends into the game: Humans can call on other humans to join the game. For example, “@JoeStommel I’ve just been bitten, dad, register at twittervszombies.com and save me with a #swipe in the next 5 mins.” But remember, once your friends have registered, they’re vulnerable. At this point, the game remains open for anyone to join, so think about pulling some folks in as defenders or as light snacks.

Band Together: Zombies work in packs. And, in order to survive, humans have to work in packs too. A follow-up #bite to a human that has just used a #dodge on another zombie attack can be quite effective. Likewise, keeping a few folks around with a #swipe handy is probably smart when you venture out as a human.

Think about visibility: Of course, in the real apocalypse, this will entail hiding behind cars and holing up in decrepit cellars. But in TvsZ, think about how hashtags function to broadcast your tweets. If you want to organize something VERY under the radar, you can use DM (direct messages) to people who also follow you. Even chatting openly with someone can be kind of quiet if you aren’t including the #TvsZ hashtag. If you are looking for some brains, you can search out humans in the game by finding their name in the chart and doing a Twitter search for the last time that they tweeted (search a user’s tweet stream by using a url like this: twitter.com/username). It does not matter whether they are using the game hashtag -- a tweet of any kind makes a human vulnerable.

Build a battle station: Use tweetdeck or hootsuite to watch hashtags. We recommend several columns, one each for #TvsZ, #TvsZ #bite, #TvsZ #dodge, and #TvsZ #swipe.

Watch the clock: Good strategy determines the difference between being turned and staying human, between a hungry zombie and a satisfied one. Humans have to be quiet about taking their leave of the game; they write their last tweet and they watch for five quiet minutes to see if they get bitten. Zombies can tell time too. If you’ve seen that a human has been quiet for a minute or two, wait until the player is close to 4 mins before biting. Five minutes goes by remarkably quickly. If you need back-up after you’re bitten, start those requests immediately. It takes people precious minutes to return tweets to you, and by then you might be undead.

Take risks: In order to stay in the game, you have to tweet at least ten times each day (whether with the #TvsS hashtag or not). Currently, we are reading that as the 24 hour time time period between midnight and midnight, leaving out the first half day of the game (Friday from 4pmEST-11:59EST). Any human who has registered for the game and remained inactive is risking starvation and a surprise #bite from the admins.

Watch the scoreboard: The community has added lots of columns to tally your spoils (meaty or otherwise). What’s most important, though, is that you know who your friends are (and who wants you dead).
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