Misadventures in Wonderland: Live action zombie game 2.8 Hours Later
Our intrepid columnist Alice goes for a jog with the undead
What is 2.8 Hours Later?
If you see the numbers 2 and 8 together in that order, you’re programmed by millions of pounds worth of marketing to know that it’s something to do with zombies. It’s like a roleplay game, but instead of playing a dorkier version of yourself, you play someone who miraculously survived the outbreak of the ‘city’ and is trying to stay alive. Surely, the worst part of a zombie apocalypse would be the dragging out of the inevitable death, but mourning your not-so-lucky fake family and pretending to drink a can of Brasso doesn’t make much of a night out either.
What do you have to do?
These events are held in dodgy looking locations all around the UK. The Edinburgh night used the entirety of Sighthill Industrial Estate – which is perfect because it’s really the first place you’d actually be found dead. In teams of eight you get debriefed in Asylum, where you’re given a map and a clue to your first location. Our assigned goal was to retrieve uninfected water from a guarded tank and make it back alive. Don’t make the mistake I made by ignoring the suggestion to dress accordingly for a physical game and wear a pretentious, structured wool coat.
There are several well-known theories that suggest everything in this world is motivated by sex. If that’s true, I think this must be the exception.
Is it scary?
When you encounter your first guy rolling around on the ground, and you hear your teammates scream, ‘he has no legs!’, or ‘do you think he has no legs for real?’, you think, ‘wow, that actor who maybe doesn’t have any legs made me jump’. But it gets worse: your heart sinks if you see a spread of trudging figures in the distance, hunched over in bloodied scrubs, guarding the computer you have to hack. Once you sprint through the underpass next to the Peugeot garage or try and get through the strip-lit crate maze of U-Store, it spirals quickly into repeating ‘they’re just actors, they’re just actors’ to yourself in the same way as if you were on day five of being kept hostage, muttering your own name to strengthen the fact you’re a living person and not a commodity.
What happens if you get caught?
They don’t actually bite you (nanny state, am I right?) but instead draw something invisible on your hand. Once you get back to Asylum, you’re screened for the virus. If they discover you’ve been ‘infected’, you go through the zombifying process to let everyone else know you’re diseased and, in turn, not the fastest runner. Everyone celebrates with a beer until you’ve forgotten what you look like and, later, turn up at a guy’s house covered in fake blood and a stamp on your arm that says ‘INFECTED’. Try and explain that and you’ll realise people will do anything for sex.
The next 2.8 Hours Later in Scotland takes place somewhere in Glasgow on Fri 15, Sat 16, Fri 22 & Sat 23 Aug. See 2.8hourslater.com for more details.