Senior Assassin during COVID-19


Credit: Isabella Ciasullo

This year, Senior Assassin is looking very different. Seniors are required to use water guns to assassinate their targets to ensure that the game remains safe. “There are also detailed rules on how someone can make an assassination, such as it has to be done with a water gun and you cannot make physical contact with your target,” senior Meredith Prince said.

The annual tradition Senior Assassin has faced many challenges, such as cancellations and safety issues in the past. This year, the game moderators are striving to keep Senior Assassin running as seamlessly as possible. The game began on April 27.

“Senior Assassin is a grade-wide game where any senior can play,” senior game-moderator Meredith Prince said. “The way it works is everyone is assigned a target, and if you hit your target with water from a water gun, they are out, and you get their target as your next target. There are also safety items that change at random and if you have one on you you are immune from being ‘killed.’ The last person standing and the person with the most ‘kills’ wins a monetary prize.”

Unlike previous years, to make sure no problems arise during the course of the game, the moderators have restricted players from ‘assassinating’ their targets on campus and during school hours.

“No students are allowed to play assassin in any school building, including the field house,” Prince said. “We have a lot of strict rules that ensure students play the game safely and will not cause any issues. The game is also not school affiliated, so the administration is not involved in it.”

The moderators took COVID-19 into consideration by creating mandatory precautions to avoid risk.

“We are trying to strictly enforce rules that abide by the CDC for COVID-19,” Prince said. “The main change we are making is adding a rule where students must wear a mask at all times when playing Senior Assassin, and they cannot make any physical contact.”

Aside from the rules, the moderators have to think about how to organize the event and admit participants.

“We [prepared] by creating a payment process where people pay a $5 entry fee after reading the rules, and then they must sign a google form saying they agree to the rules,” Prince said. “We [did] all of this before we start playing so it is out of the way.”

To help the game run smoother, the moderators created a new website that participants could use. Although Senior Assassin has had websites in the past, this year senior game-maker Mingle Li created a new online platform completely from scratch.

“I pulled an all-nighter for the first time working on this website as a submission for Reboot Hacks,” Li said. “I got most of the functionality done there. Afterward, I worked on the website intermittently.”

This website made the game accessible and efficient for all the players, while also making it COVID-19 friendly. Seniors will receive their randomized targets from the website, while also being able to view the leaderboard, completed assassinations and pictures of their classmates in action.

“It probably looks completely different than the previous years’ websites but the WHS Assassin website is meant to immerse players as if they were a professional assassin,” Li said. “I designed a logo of a red assassin and made the primary color of the website black, as to create an ominous feel.”

As for the prizes, the entry fees to participate make up the cash prize earned by the winners of the game. Senior Hilla Almog, an organizer of the game, is responsible for keeping track of the rewards.

“I have all the money, so when someone would join, [they’d have] to Venmo me five dollars to play,” Almog said. “Then, all the money goes towards the winner, second place and the person with the most assassinations.”

Prince, Almog, Li and senior Sam Goldstone worked together over Zoom and text to set up the game for their class. As of right now, 99 students are participating.

“[More players will] make the game really big and also have a large cash prize,” Prince said.