From setting up faux interviews for The Phillipian to stalking their target’s schedules, West Quad North (WQN) students have been using all kinds of methods to track and “assassinate” their assigned targets in hopes of winning 50 dollar and 100 dollar gift cards to Susie’s. Hosted by the WQN Cluster Council, this version of the traditional Assassin game boosts winter morale by promoting face-to-face interactions.
The idea for the Assassin game first originated in a WQN Cluster Council meeting, as the representatives were looking for a way for students to meet and interact with a wider range of Andover students. As the traditional form of Assassin, wherein mock weapons are used for elimination, was banned due to a previous game that resulted in a shattered glass door in Morse Hall, many representatives suggested using phones as the target marker instead.
Nick Masri ’19, Cluster Co-President of WQN, said, “Basically, we wanted a way for people in the cluster to meet other people, and we were thinking about doing a name game or something like that. Somebody came up with the idea of Assassin, and so we wanted to implement it so people could find new people in the cluster and meet them and interact in this fun and cool way.”
The game was initiated on January 24, when Nalu Concepcion ’19 sent out an email to all WQN students on behalf of WQN Co-Presidents Masri and Sarah Stack ’19 that contained instructions on the game, as well as each recipient’s first target. According to the email, the only locations on campus where students are exempt from elimination are dorm rooms, toilet stalls, and crosswalks, to ensure the principles of privacy and safety.
Stack said, “When you find them on their phone, you have to start saying the phrase ‘By the power vested in Yukon, you are terminated.’ And so you could find the person on their phone by any means necessary. Once you catch that person on their phone, that person has to give you their target’s name — the person they received in their inbox. And then you should send a picture of the two of you either to a gmail account by West Quad North or the [WQN Assassin] Instagram. Also, if you don’t get someone out within a week, then you are eliminated from the round to keep the people who are interested in the game in it.”
Sadie Cheston-Harris ’20, a member of the WQN Cluster Council, believes that many participants are encouraged to talk to peers or search the directory as they may not personally know their targets. According to Cheston-Harris, this helps promote a sense of community and unity.
“Assassin is doing a really good job of making sure students are actively trying to meet new people and find out people’s names and faces,” said Cheston-Harris.
On the other hand, some students like Nick Dean ’22 have found their targets by chance. Now on the game’s leaderboard for the most amount of eliminations, Dean coincidentally found his first target standing next to him in a line at Paresky Commons.
“It was really funny, because I just kinda figured out what she looked like and I was literally right next to her so I just went and I was like ‘Oh my gosh is it you?’ And she was like yeah and she just got assassinated so it was super funny we were both laughing about it. So yeah, it’s awesome,” said Dean.
Stack believes that the Instagram page of the Assassin game, “wqn_assassin,” which has over 200 followers, demonstrates the student body’s support for the game. The Instagram page was created in order to help incite more excitement for the game, according to Stack.
Stack said, “My old school had created an Instagram [for their Assassin game], and I remember that it was really funny reading over some of them. And I just wanted to do that. And so I thought it would be fun, and I also thought it would make people more excited about it if they saw what was happening on Instagram and they knew who was eliminated and who was still in the game.”
Students like Kylie Quinlan ’20, a member of the WQN Cluster Council and the first person to eliminate their target, believe that the instagram page helps promote the continuity and participation for the game and informs players of who is “alive.”
“I think [the Instagram page] helps achieve more widespread excitement about it because I know for me definitely reading the captions [was] pretty entertaining, hearing about all the kills and how they happened,” said Quinlan.