I was thinking about the past tonight, because
I’m a ridiculous insomniac when I have
nothing to do in the coming days. But
some thought lead to another and I was
reminded of The Assassination Game or
T.A.G for short, ya know incase we needed
to talk about something in front of
teachers. This game started out as inside
fun between me and a couple friends,
and ended up turning into a school wide
game where one in every ten kids in my school of over a thousand was playing it.
Here’s that story.
My junior year of high school we had some EOC (end of course exams), and these always took up a huge part of a few days at school. It was really like any public school system standardize test taking, assigned rooms for different subjects, and testing for hours on end. But between our tests we would have these little 1o minute breaks to stretch our legs, go bathroom and do that kind of thing.
Well before one of these breaks me and my friends were talking about Assassins Creed, a game we’d all been really into at the time. And as we were talking about the game I had an idea. The thought was that during this little ten minute break we’d each have a target and sense most of the school was taking the tests the halls were packed. So we each had to try and assassinate our target, during these breaks, and when you’d assassinate your target you’d get your target’s target, then repeat. The crowded halls served as the perfect playing ground to disappear and reappear into. The Assassin with the most points at the end of the break won.
After the break we talked about what did and didn’t work about the game. So we adjusted rules and tried it again the next break. This happened several more times, and with each break, and new brainstorm sech I saw the game evolving more and becoming better.
I went home that night with the rules we’d written up on some piece of paper (that I still have somewhere in my closet) and created the facebook page that became the central hub for the game. You can check it out here and read through all the rules and see the evolution of it yourself if you want http://www.Facebook.com/assassinationgame. But you don’t have to go to the page and read the rules right now. It basically went something like this:
- There was a list of contracts. I held that list and only I saw that list and ran the game because people who were playing couldn’t see the list.
- You were given a Contract which consisted of one target.
- You “Assassinated” that target, but could only do so when they didn’t see you coming. So usually in the back when they weren’t looking.
- When you assassinated them you then received their contract.
It was based off of a point system where each assassination was worth one point. And the person with the most points at either the end of the week, or when the round ended due to everyone getting assassinated, was the winner.
So I made up the first list of contracts next. But the only way to run the game right and keep all the contracts a secret to give all the assassins an even playing field was for me to tell everyone their contracts personally. Thus the need for the facebook page, The weekend before each round I’d have to randomize the names by hand(which at one point got up to 174 people playing), then send out messages via facebook to every assassin. Which took hours of work each weekend. But was worth every second of it.
The game started into the second semester but by the end of the year and after, maybe 12 different games, had grown into one of the biggest things to sweep the school. At it’s height one in every ten kids was playing, and that was a lot! It just broke up the routine of school. It created something for people to talk about and be able to relate to one another on. And just made school that much more fun.
It’d be crazy when you’d be walking down the hall toward your next class and all the sudden someone would fast walk past you, weaving in and out of people to jam their hair pick, wand, pencil, or whatever object they chose as their “weapon” into their target.
People would plan out intricate ways to assassinate their targets, knowing that the story would be told all over school, and they’d go down as legends for that week.
There was tales of heartache when people would be assassinated just after having gotten in the game, or when an epic kill streak was ended.
Teachers and even the principle tried to get involved with this thing and shut it down. Teachers would banish play from the classroom and shut it down whenever they saw it in the hall. We started using the acronym T.A.G to keep it underground as much as we could.
One of my favorite assassinations that I remember hearing about was this girl went to the office worker and said she had found her targets wallet laying on the ground and wanted to get his schedule so she could get it to him later that day. Well the office worker bought it and gave up the info. The girl then went and waited outside his next classes door. When the bell rang she waited and when he walked out she snuck behind him and got the contract.
It was truly one of my favorite times of high school. I’d love sitting at lunch and hardly having time to eat because I’d have countless kids coming up throughout, making sure they had the right target and letting me know who they assassinated so I could keep track of all the points. It even introduced me to people I’d have never met otherwise and made the school a more exciting place to be for that short time.
It also showed me how easy it was to pour your time into something you loved and how rewarding that thing becomes. An invaluable lesson that still helps me out. It’s a good feeling to know you did something for others and had a bond that brought you all that much closer together.
Looking back if I were to say I left behind a legacy in high school that was probably it. Sure it never made it into the year book because it was never an official thing. But it was a thing we all loved and no one could take that away from us.