By Thuong Pham and Magdalena Rattunde
The game Assassin has been an Alameda High School tradition for seniors as a fun, long-lasting memory before they step out into the real world. Seniors who choose to play pay a $5 entrance fee to the organizer of the game, as this is not a school-sponsored event.
This year, the organizer is Katlin Nguyen, a senior who was willing to carry on the tradition by leading it instead of participating in it. “I knew that I didn’t want to play…but I wanted to be a part of it, so the Senior Class and leadership just came up to me and they asked if I knew anyone who wanted to run it and I told them that I did,” Nguyen said.
According to Nguyen, every participant is assigned a name of an opponent, and the object of the game is to shoot them down with water without getting shot first by the person that was assigned to them. Players are only told the name of their target; they are not told the name of the player who is targeting them. If a player does find and “shoot” a target, that player must send a picture of the now-wet target to Nguyen as proof. “It’s not too strict, so it’s still fun,” Nguyen said.
There are some restrictions to where and when players can get shot. For example: no shooting during school hours or at school sports or practices, on adjacent streets of Alameda High, during school or religious activities, during jobs, inside public transportation or inside their houses. Additionally, any form of threatening, bullying, or simply not eliminating the target within a given deadline will result in a disqualification.
However there are some curveballs to these restrictions. Shooting is allowed while the target is waiting for the public transportation, or while the target is in their backyard or garage. Some rules will be modified in terms of safe zones and deadlines as the game approaches to an end. Group strategizing is also allowed, so some players form alliances with other players.
Nguyen says she spent a tremendous amount of time organizing the event, gathering as much information as she possibly could. “It’s a lot of work. You don’t want to be that person to mess things up because there is a whole process. So you have to get everyone’s information– pictures of them, contact information–just so if you have that person you know what they look like,” she said. “It takes a lot of time, it’s a lot of computer work,” she added.
The winner is the last person standing, and that person gets the money collected from all participants. According to Nguyen, the winner last year was John Campos. “They had a bigger class [than this year] so it [money] is probably more than what I’m going to probably distribute out,” she said.
Senior Aubrey Guevara is a participant in the event, and she says she is in it to win it with a very “serious and competitive” attitude. “I think it’s just fun to–this might sound a little stalker-ish but–to find out information about where they are at [participants] all the time so you can ‘kill’ them,” Guevara said.
However, opinions differ about the safety of the game. “ I heard stories about how cops don’t want kids to play it because they think they are taking out guns instead of water guns…but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Guevara said.
Although senior Brittany Delosreyes-Mills is not a participant in the game, she feels that this year is going to be very suspenseful. “I believe that a lot of people at our school are very competitive, for example Austin Tracey. I think he’s probably going to win,” she said.
The number of students remaining decreases as each week passes by. As of March 3, 40 people had ousted, leaving less than 90 students left in the game. Targets have also been changing constantly since the numbers have declined quickly.