Assassins accidents cause rules to change

Kills don’t count while an engine is running


Addison Anderson ’19, Sadie Abernathy ’19. and Jessie Kang ’18 playing assassins.

Josh Power, Reviews Editor

Assassins, a Nerf battle royale in which students compete for glory and prizes among their fellow classmates, is a unique, highly competitive game played at high schools across the country. The premise is that students form teams and pay a fee to play, “killing” other participants by shooting them with Nerf guns. The winner is the team (or member of the team) who is alive at the end of the game. In the past, previous underclassmen had anxiously awaited the chance to play, as the game is typically only open to juniors and seniors. Jake Lundberg ‘19 had always look forward to Assassins, revealing that “even as a sophomore, I tried to help my upperclassmen friends… Now I couldn’t be more excited to participate.” Many other past underclassmen share Jake’s opinion, as freshman, Frieda Liston ‘19  looked forward to playing assassins because she felt that “it brought all of the upperclassmen together.”

However, the culture around assassins has changed in recent years. On December 4, 2015, two Lakeville North students were killed in a fatal car crash while playing in a Nerf war. In reflecting on the case, Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom stated to the Star Tribune that, “These types of games, which can involve aggressive behaviors among youth, have no place in our schools and communities and should end.” The effect the deaths were obvious, as the students immediately terminated the game, and the families of the victims sued the school district. This tragic event has spurred widespread backlash against Nerf-style games, and even today Blake parents are hesitant to let their kids play assassins.

Nowadays many underclassmen are hesitant in playing assassins, as the dangers of the game have become apparent since 2015 incident. Sam Deignan ‘20 reflects on these concerns, saying “I think it should be fun to play, I just hope that they keeping making the game safer for everyone.”

Accordingly, this year’s gamemakers are determined to make the game enjoyable while ensuring all the participants safety. Chris Gill ‘18, one of the three gamemakers, recognizes that, “Students who have played this game around the country have seriously hurt themselves while trying to eliminate other players.” In response, Gill and his fellow gamemaker Cameron Oden ‘18, have revised the existing assassins rulebook passed down to them by last year’s leaders to totally eliminate vehicles from play, decreeing that no kills will count while an engine is on.