Maggie Klaers

PCP: Assassins

Over the past month, many high schoolers have taken part in the game of assassins.

May 25, 2021

Assassins game is disruptive, dangerous

If you’ve been keeping up with school events, chances are you’ve heard about Assassins. While I think it’s a fun tradition, there are just too many negative factors involved.

Assassins is a game played by high school students everywhere — students form teams and attempt to shoot other players with Nerf guns to become the last team standing. Sounds innocent enough, right? Wrong. One of the first rules of the game is that school grounds are off limits. This leaves players to race around the metro area hoping to get the chance to kill someone off their hit list, no matter the cost or repercussions. 

So what’s the issue? As I just mentioned, school property is off-limits. One of the most common strategies players take, is to wake up as early as possible and stake out at their target’s house. This might mean hiding in their yard, waiting outside in a car or in some cases finding a way into the house. You might be able to see how this would be a major invasion of privacy. 

Another of the biggest issues with this tradition is how dangerous it is. Google, “high school Nerf wars,” and a slew of articles pop up regarding injuries, accidents and deaths that have resulted from these games. A few years ago, two students at Lakeville South were killed in a car accident while playing the game. While there are rules in place to try and prevent accidents like these, there’s really no way of enforcing them. And most games are student organized with no official ties to the school, so little is done to step in and control it. 

Aside from the danger of playing the game, the nature of the Nerf wars poses threat to safety as well. Running around with guns, often dressed in dark colors, usually in the dark, you can imagine what an unknowing witness could think. It would be one thing if the tradition was publicly known, but most people outside of  high schools don’t know what it is. It’s gotten to a point where police departments release warnings when it’s time for the games to begin. But the thing is, the issue isn’t the nature of the game, it’s the actions the people playing it take that make it so dangerous.  

Just during this year’s game, I’ve heard firsthand accounts of people getting involved in car chases — driving well over the speed limit in pursuit of a target. There was someone who got their foot run over by a careless driver. I’ve even heard a story about someone who’s entire family was blocked in by cars so they could knock someone off their list. These issues I’m talking about aren’t hypotheticals that could happen if we aren’t careful, they are things that have happened already and undoubtedly will happen again. 

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Assassins brings students together


After a whole year apart, assassins has helped bring students back together. This game should continue on in the future, as it brings back a sense of long overdue unity.

Assassins started on May 3, the game is played by putting together a team of up to six students, and each team is given a “hit list.” Then each team goes around shooting people with a nerf guns, and the last person standing wins a prize of money. At first I was a little concerned on how the game would operate with COVID-19 restrictions, but I was ultimately impressed with how everyone was following the guidelines and rules. 

The rules are no shooting on school property, school events (sports, meetings, practices),  student’s work or volunteering place and at any religious settings. However, students are fair game on the way to or from anywhere, and masks must be worn inside a house and permission is required to go into a students home. No kidnapping or shooting someone if you or they are driving the car must be in park, no moving cars. Once you get killed you are able to pay to be revived, and once you hit everyone off your hitlist, you enter free for all (FFA), meaning you can hit anyone who is playing. When you get out or get another person out, you have to take a picture with them as evidence that they have been eliminated.

I feel like people are actually starting to have fun again, and a little bit of normalcy is coming back after what COVID-19 has taken from us. We couldn’t do ssassins last year, so it’s extra special that we can do it now. 

A benefit about the game is that it can help with meeting new people; you can meet new people and make new friends in the process. With the game providing a random list of people in the hit list, you won’t know everyone who is on your list, so with that you meet new people. 

Players also get to bond with or strengthen relationships with teammates. I have many friends who signed up just to have fun with their peers and make long-lasting memories. 

Throughout the game, students are also given an opportunity to gain life skills that they can use in the future, like communication. Players are going to have to talk with your teammates and figure out when you want to make a hit. Players also get the opportunity to display honesty and exhibit good sportsmanship. Since this game is a “competition,” it is easy to get competitive, and I feel this game is a good way to stay truthful and honest about when you get out.

With all that being said, Assassins is here to stay; it brings people together and uses useful skills that can help in the future. It also brings the great feeling of being together and being a part of something, after being socially inactive during the pandemic.

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