Asinine Assassin


Photo Credit: @shsassassin2019

The annual game of assassin, like health class or overly confident freshmen, is known to make many people uncomfortable. Last year, critics of the game said that it made them feel unsafe in the halls of SHS. Now that the game is back, it is clear that one demographic is disproportionately affected by assassin: people who are playing assassin.

The two main arguments in favor of assassin are that it promotes class unity and that it helps students release their urge to assassinate people in a healthy way, but the game has undeniable effects on stress levels. For example, seniors can often be seen in the hallway frantically turning their heads on the lookout for opponents, a familiar feeling for seniors who already spend their mornings frantically turning their heads on the lookout for parking spots.

It’s no surprise that seniors show signs of paranoia. Many people have been tagged in a hallway, ambushed at Giannoni’s, or ruthlessly lured to the gym under the false pretense of getting swole for Baha.

Photo Credit: @shsassassin2019

Aside from keeping their guard up or covering exposed skin with clothing, seniors have used other preventative measures for getting tagged. One rule of the game is that if the target sees the assassin with an uncapped marker, he or she can gain immunity by yelling “ASSASSIN!” at the top of his lungs. Oh, did I mention that the seniors go away for Spring break… in a group… on an airplane?

One surefire way to avoid losing the game is to participate in a resurrection challenge. However, many argue that these challenges are foolish and don’t represent how things work in the real world. For example, if you get fired from your job, you cannot ask your boss, “Would it change your mind if I eat an entire stick of butter?” They also argue that kids these days need to know that losing is a part of life, and that in the real world an “assassination” is permanent. “What about Tupac?” says the opposition.

Unfortunately, anxiety from the game compounds on those from the already laborious duties of second semester seniors, such as attending classes and not failing said classes. “I would definitely say that my level of stress in school has gone up [since I voluntarily joined this game],” says the Senior class, in unison. “It’s just upsetting that I should have to go to school in an environment where I don’t feel safe [as a result of my own agreement to be preyed on by a marker assassin].”

While the game has many naturally built-in stressors, there are rules in place to make it safe and inclusive. For example, there is no tagging allowed in classrooms, because that would distract seniors from fidgeting, doodling, and counting down to graduation. Furthermore, no running is allowed inside the halls; however, a freshman-who’s-late-to-P.E. level speedwalk is permitted. In addition to classrooms, there are also other designated “safe zones.” These areas include the library (for nerds), teacher offices (likewise), bathrooms (for people who eat Learning Commons food), your white Jeep Wrangler (all seniors), and the ultra-top-secret assassin bunker under the school (whoops).

Overall, the utter absurdity of the game has seniors sprinting (speed walking) through the halls, desperately searching for predators, and completing inane challenges for a chance to be resurrected. It somehow has underclassman thinking, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not them.” It has one lonely senior wondering, “Why is nobody trying to tag me?” And of course, it has a few over-committed moms saying, “Yeah I’ll pick you up. Just climb out the window and I’ll be right outside with a fresh marker and some orange slices.”  But, when it comes down to it, assassin creates an unsafe in-school atmosphere for people who literally signed up for exactly that.