By Catherine Troll
At Franciscan University, it is common to see students casually walking around, running to class and hanging out on the Piazza. What is not quite as common is that currently several of the students are carrying concealed weapons. Some of the students don’t conceal them; they are brave enough to walk in the open with huge, elaborate Nerf guns dangling from their belts.
The Assassin Game began on Sept. 28 with about 50 players, but now there are fewer than 15 players left in this great escapade. More than 30 students have been “assassinated,” losing their chance to win the game’s cash prize. Soon all survivors will assemble and participate in an ultimate showdown to determine the winner.
Most of the players enjoy taking the game seriously. Some take their deaths harder than others.
“I was killed last night,” lamented Ryan Nash, who had survived for two and a half weeks along with 14 others. “I let my guard down and now I’m out. It’s a bummer.”
Armando Giraldo also shared his experience.
“The first day of the game, on my way to the Port, I was betrayed by my friend who assisted my assassin in planning my death in front of Christ the King Chapel,” said Giraldo.
The usual way to be eliminated from the game is to be shot with a Nerf dart. However, players are not required to have a Nerf gun to participate—they only need Nerf darts. Some students utilize wrist devices designed to fire Nerf darts; others sneak up behind their targets and simply poke them with a dart.
Despite the plotting and scheming, the game does have rules. The entire campus is a shooting zone but buildings are safe zones. Off-campus is not game territory. As one participant, Brian Kelly, put it, “University Boulevard is a highway to the danger zone.”
“The point of the game is to not let your guard down for one second…That’s how I lost,” Kelly said. “One minute I’m walking along my merry way and the next minute I’m biting the dust of my shame.”
The way the game works is that each player is assigned a target and an assassin. A player’s goal is to take out his or her target. When that has been accomplished, the victim’s target becomes the player’s new target. All the while, the player has to keep track of his or her own assassin, who might be lurking anywhere. If a player’s assassin is eliminated, the assassin’s “killer” becomes the player’s assassin. If a target hits his or her assassin before the assassin hits the target, the assassin must wait six hours before going after his or her target again. If a player hits a civilian, the player cannot shoot at his or her target for eight hours.
Keeping track of who your opponents are is a very difficult element of the game. For some it is also an exciting factor.
“I enjoy the aspect of getting to find out about people and meeting new people since sometimes you don’t know who your target is,” said Elizabeth Nguyen, who is still in the game.
One by one, players are being eliminated. Only time, keen aim and a good stealth mode will determine who will earn the prize.