The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

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Assassins: A Fun Game or Insane?

Illustration by Brodi Gary
Assassins is a game played by upperclassmen during the spring semester where students have targets to eliminate using water guns.

A fun, competitive and spirited game for upperclassmen. That’s how the popular game “assassins” is described. While that’s how it’s intended to be, some people can take it a little far. Which is why to keep it easy, it needs to be played…well, more simply. 

I guess saying they take it a little far is an understatement. I mean, do you consider sitting outside someone’s house for hours just to shoot them with a water gun as excessive? Because a lot of the players in assassins don’t. They just see it as what it takes to win.

Don’t get me wrong, when I first heard of assassins, I thought it sounded fun, until I heard how crazy it can get. 

“The thing about assassins is you’re always on edge because you think someones gonna shoot you,” senior Scarlett Swinford said. “I got out in the morning, I had to park outside that night and I was out of my garage, I looked both ways to see if I could make it to my car before I leave for school and then I ran to my car, but then he shot me going to my car in the morning. I didn’t even leave my house till 8:20, and he got there at 7:20.” 

The Instagram account for the game was made in January by the two seniors running the game, Micah Boswell and Peyton Sounakhen. Rules and terms were posted on the page, claiming that the game was in no way affiliated with the school or the district, and states, “The game will get very competitive, but please use common sense i.e, don’t break the law.” 

The first red flag is the fact that they feel the need to put in the “don’t break the law” part. So what’s the prize for winning the game? What makes students this competitive? The answer is cash. To play the game, seniors have to pay $10, and juniors $15. The winner gets 70% of the prize pool, second place receives 15% and third place 5%. Coordinators get the remaining 5%. 

“The game will be played nonstop,” the post said. “Targets will be sent out, January 10th at 12:01AM and will end Thursday, May 18th (day before graduation) OR until there is one assassin remaining. If more than 1 remains by May 19th whoever has the most eliminations will be declared the winner.”

The rules are extensive, stating that there can be “purge days,” revivals, bounties and other special rulings. In addition, there are safe zones such as school, CBAC, ODAC, school related sporting events, field trips, church properties, homes, senior trips and gyms and the whole day and night of prom is a safe day until 10a.m. the next day. Seniors are also safe at their own graduation parties, and workplaces are safe as long as you are inside the building. But the second you step out of any of these places, you’re fair game. Simple rules, right?

In addition to the extensive rules on eliminations, you can also buy back in if you get eliminated in a previous round.

“I think that it should cost more for you to get back in the game because it’s only $25,” Swinford said. “And I feel like if you get the chance to get back you should have to pay more or get two assassins. But the rules are set pretty good. Some are suspicious, like you can’t get out at a rec game, but you can get out at a practice that’s not Olathe. There’s just some things like that, but that just shows that it’s [the rules] made by boys.”

Eliminations are restricted to targets only, unless bounties are placed or rules are changed. And once a target is eliminated, you have to text your “contact” your full name and the target’s full name to show who did the eliminating and who got eliminated. The other option is to send a picture which is featured on the instagram page full of eliminated students, which already has 46 posts of eliminated players in only the first round. As you can see, even the simple act of sharing an elimination is complicated. 

Players go to extreme lengths to meet the deadlines of each round, as seen by junior Lucy Ketchum. 

“I went to Florida as the game was starting,” Ketchum said. “And when I came home, the game had already started, and I was getting off my airplane and I walked down my escalator towards my baggage claim and I saw the person that had me for assassins. I knew this because my friends had told me because it had gotten around and I walked out towards my baggage claim and he was standing there. I knew he was gonna try to get me out, and I ran to the bathroom, hid there and somehow I escaped without him seeing me.”

Assassins can be a fun game, but it can also be taken way too far and be extremely complicated for a simple game amongst upperclassmen. Rules need to be strictly enforced and made to where the game doesn’t last past graduation, and we don’t see students going to crazy extents just to possibly get part of a cash pool. Is a small chance to get some money really worth being paranoid 24/7?

Furthermore, the game can get dangerous. imagine being chased at night in a parking lot when leaving work or someone getting hurt during a chase. The game is also done sometimes in public spaces. Can you imagine if any bystanders saw a student pull out a water gun in public and think it was something else? 

To ensure the game doesn’t get out of hand, rules need to be adjusted. For starters, the game shouldn’t last three months. Eliminate revivals so when a target gets out, they stay out and the game can come to a close sooner. 

In reality, many people are probably going to spend more money staying in the game than they actually end up receiving. If you want to play, know what you’re going into. Only three people can win, and with the level of competitiveness displayed in only round one, I’d say this “game” is more than just a game. 

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About the Contributor
Addison Smith, Online Editor
Addison Smith is a senior and Online Editor for the Owl Post. This is her third year on staff, previously serving as a staff member. Addison is involved in Rho Kappa, Link Crew and Quill & Scroll. Outside of school, Addison enjoys hanging out with friends, making art and watching TV shows, her favorites including, “The Rookie” and “Community.” Addison is looking forward to advancing the print paper, furthering her photography and writing stories about the community. What Addison loves most about journalism is the ability to spread information to the public and the fascinating world journalism provides through writing and photography. 

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    Glenna SmithMar 5, 2024 at 8:54 am

    Super informative, well-written article!! Excellent job!!