The start of the school year brings with it many things. For seniors, this includes college applications, graduation planning, and trying to will themselves to attend class at least once a week. Perhaps most exciting, however, is the game of assassin. Each year, a brave group of seniors fight for glory (and a large cash prize) by shooting each other with nerf guns, the goal of being the last one standing.
Nora Oyama and Roy Mason have taken on the role of organizers for this year’s game of assassin. Oyama says her favorite part of organizing is “watching everyone’s reactions when they get a new target or hearing their stories of how they shot someone.” While she has fun coordinating the inner workings of the game, she says she’s “devastated [she] can’t play” but concedes, “It would’ve been a waste of $10 because I would’ve gotten out on the first day.”
While over a hundred seniors initially signed up, many have already been taken out by their craftier opponents. Amelia Roseto was shot within the first week, and claims her assassin tricked her into thinking someone else had her so as to catch her off guard. “I don’t feel betrayed,” she says, “I just feel used.” Roseto had been looking forward to assassin for years and was in it to win it before she was tragically taken down. But sacrifices must be made for the good of the group, and assassin is a game without mercy.
Roseto may not be able to live out her dream of becoming the ultimate assassin champion, but plenty of others are eager to fill that place. In the past, people have gone to extreme measures to ensure their success. Senior Liam MacDonald feels some people can go a little too far, saying assassin allows one to “truly find out how incredibly easy it is to be creepy.” With digital white pages available at our fingertips and apps that allow us to track people in our contacts, it’s not uncommon for seniors to inadvertently become full–on stalkers. Because of this, many seniors live in constant paranoia, suspicious of every car that appears to be following them a little too closely. Paavo Saari says that this is the hardest part of assassin, remarking on “how stressful it is every time you leave your house.”
Luckily, the fear of an imminent attack at any moment is far outweighed by the other aspects of the game. Winning is the ultimate goal of most who play, but along the way the game itself is very fun. When else are you going to get the chance to stake out in front of someone’s house armed and ready for attack? It’s a real life action film, and seniors get to play James Bond. MacDonald feels the game has also done a great job of bringing the class of 2017 closer together, “whether it’s getting someone you’ve never met before or finding out more about someone you already have.” Saari’s thoughts on the game take a slightly different approach, saying his favorite part is “watching [his] friends get eliminated.”
In the past, games have lasted until spring, with a few lone players left fighting for the gold. It will be interesting to hear about some of the creative ways in which people choose to assassinate their targets. When asked about what he feels would be the ultimate kill, Saari says it “would be at someone’s birthday party, you buy them a nerf gun, ask them if you can try it out and then shoot them. Or hide in the cake.” MacDonald felt the ultimate attack would be to “get to your target’s house before them, have their parents let you in – they might hate their kid – and wait in your target’s closet to jump out and shoot them.” However the game goes down, assassin is sure to be a topic of conversation and source of entertainment for the rest of the year.