Written by Morgan Wrigley // Graphic by Cooper Turman
The Harding Assassins are back for another year of the game, and this year brought more players.
Started by seniors Hannah Atkins and Anna Voss last spring, the game was opened to all Harding students and began Jan. 20.
People who signed up and paid the $3 entry fee were assigned another player to be their “target” by the “game masters,” as Atkins and Voss call themselves.
The objective is to locate the assigned target and shoot them with a water gun, or in many cases, a water bottle with a hole poked in the lid.
For the “kill” to be valid, it has to be documented on video so the game masters can approve it. Once a player “kills” another player, they then take on that person’s target.
Whoever obtains the most kills will be awarded 60% of the entry fee money, while the longest to survive will receive 40%.
Atkins and Voss said the range of students playing this year is larger and more diverse among different social clubs.
Last year, the players were mostly members of women’s social club Zeta Rho and men’s social club TNT.
“I would say it’s about 50/50 [this year],” Atkins said. “Half the time, when we’re assigning people to their targets, I’ll know their name or I won’t recognize it at all.”
Atkins said last year, there were 84 total players. This year, over 100 students decided to play.
“I think there’s more PTP [Pi Theta Phi] and PKD [Phi Kappa Delta]] people, and then a lot of freshmen I don’t know, which is nice,” Voss said.
Atkins and Voss said for this year’s game, they have brainstormed ways to keep it new and exciting with different advantages players can gain to secure a leg-up in the game, like extra lives.
One new player, senior Matthew Maynard, said the game provided an opportunity to make new friends.
“It’s a different way to see new faces and meet new people because you don’t always know who your target is, so you look them up on Instagram, and then you’re asking a friend of a friend who knows them, and then you just accidentally run into them,” Maynard said.
Atkins and Voss said they are currently looking for potential candidates to take over the game when they graduate, but there are some important criteria the new game masters would have to fit.
“We need a duo of two people who are close with each other, and are willing to spend a lot of time together,” Atkins said.