We were speaking in very hushed tones over teamspeak, that's how scared I had ended up.
As befits a 'sandbox' game everyone's first experience of DayZ is slightly different. Mine was spending about 15 minutes trying to find a Battlefield 2 clanmate on a 225km square kilometer map. Once reunited we briefly posed for a series of suggestive third person screenshots, before heading into an urban area to find a weapon - DayZ starts each player off with a few medical supplies, absolutely nothing in the way of a weapon - everything a player gets, they have to take, cooperate or steal for.
My experience was a little galling as for a gamer's ego; after two years of our hardening and bonding in clan matches, as soon as my friend and I attracted zombies we simply panicked and split; the last I saw of fellow Zombopcalypse survivor Mindriot (aka the classier 'yourmother69er') he was running helter-skelter along the tree line, being pursued by half a town's worth of Zombopcalypse non-survivors. After the slight setback of us both dying it took a further two hours of play before finding one of us found an axe to wield. This revalation was followed by my legs being broken in a zombie attack and being forced to crawl around on hands and knees for a further hour, all without seeing any further human players on the fully-filled server.
The essence of the game is to respawn in a random area with nothing every time you die and the aforementioned 225 km^2 to play with. In there you will find assualt carbines, cars, tank traps and helicopters, an endless supply of Zombies as well the other (surprisingly rarely seen) 50 odd players.
The relatively stable DayZ is a free PC-only mod for ARMAII - and is frankly in Atomic's opinion already one of the best sandbox games to come along in years. By no means is it easy, but it is well worth a try, especially if you already own ARMA II - the game has become huge, with a host of Australasian servers. This is not too shabby in light of it being an Alpha release.
Just... don't panic, it never works out.