After sitting at my desk scribbling for hours, I finally stop writing and slip my pencil behind my ear out of habit. Looking around, I slowly realize I’m at home and no one is trying to assassinate me, so I don’t need to keep a pencil rested on my ear. This paranoia is one of the side effects of playing this game with my other 100 cross country teammates.
A trend followed through social media and spread throughout the hallways here, teams and classmates looking for a way to spark some fun in school have joined the bandwagon of creating a large game called Assassin. The word assassin is derived from a secretive murder cult in the 11th and 12th centuries called the “Hashishin,” meaning “hashish eaters,” completely unrelated to how the game is currently played. When played by schools and kids as well as adults and companies all around the United States it is often called “Killing As Organized Sport,” “Juggernaut,” “Battle Royal,” and “Killer.” When looking at the assassin games here, the rules are simple:
Everyday a task will be assigned to the group that each individual must complete. Here are a couple of examples to help display the difficulty of maintaining these challenges all day.
1. Keep a pencil behind your ear all day
2. Wear your backpack on your stomach
3. Hold a gallon of water in your non-dominant hand
Everyone is assigned one person who they need to “kill.” As they do the challenge themselves, they need to try to catch their assigned person NOT doing the task. If they catch them in the act of not doing the task, they can assassinate their target. That person will be eliminated and the person who killed them will be assigned a new target.
Anyone who isn’t completing the task throughout the day is in jeopardy of being killed by the person assigned to watch them.
Each person may only kill the person he or she is told to. “I saw some of my teammates without a pencil behind their ear during class, but there was nothing I could do. It was hard,” senior Valerie Hubert said.
Every day, those who are killed are eliminated and those who survive the day move onto the next round. The challenges keep occurring day by day, until one person is left standing.
Prizes are usually awarded to the winner as well as a joke prize for the first person eliminated. “After all the pain and suffering we had to do for endless days, at least there’s a reward at the end. Hopefully the nerves were worth it,” freshman Scott Sritharan said.
Exceptions to the game blur the lines. Bathrooms and locker rooms are safe zones where people cannot be killed. Also, if a teacher demands that you stop doing the task during class, then no one can kill you. “Although it’s a game, all the students have taken it seriously. I find it hilarious that the whole team was so dedicated,” cross country coach and science teacher Jake Buxton said.
Lastly, if anyone feels harmed or doesn’t agree with the technicalities of the task they may talk with the other members and decide if they can continue with the challenge.