Watch out – assassins infiltrate campus

Students in the Classical Studies Club face a huge risk at the College: getting “assassinated.” This is the first year the club is running a game of Assassin, which gained the attention and participation of 50 players. The club shares an interest in the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome and the ways in which social and political issues that characterize those cultures are still apparent in contemporary societies.

The Assassination Game is part of “Classics Week,” a week to celebrate what the club is all about. Activities have included a trip to see the feature film “300,” a vicious retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, and a trip to Zorba’s Brother in Princeton to have some Greek eats.

The club is still fairly new but the members are creative in their endeavors. As club advisor Holly Haynes, Latin professor, commented, “The club consists of some really fun, smart people who share a common interest and wanted to create a new kind of social network.”

In the Assasination Game, each player is assigned to “assassinate” another player. As club publicist Jeff Hatley, sophomore mathematics major, explained, “You assassinate your target by approaching them, putting your hand on their shoulder, and saying ‘You’re dead.'”

After the player’s target is assassinated, you have to then assassinate their target. The game will be running until there is only one person remaining or until March 29, when the player with the most “kills” wins. Players cannot be assassinated in their own dorm room, at their place of work or in class.

To help avoid assassination each player was given a “safety”: a laminated piece of paper giving the day, time and location of the club’s meetings. If the player’s safety is conspicuous in his hand or he is wearing it, he cannot be assassinated. But the game has a twist, as starting on Tuesday, March 27, the safety will no longer keep the player alive.

Just as a real assassin has his or her moves mapped out, players have been encouraged to use any means necessary to complete their kills. While most are weary of stalkers on Facebook, these players face the risk of being revealed to those trying to “kill them.”

Players have been logging on to find out who their target is, when their classes are, even who they hang out with. Many players have chosen to take down their Facebook picture and have made their accounts visible only to their friends. The game has proven to be popular and bystanders have expressed a desire to play next semester. “We are hoping to double the participation next semester,” Hatley said in response to the game’s popularity.

The game ends tomorrow. There is no telling the lengths that players will go to “assassinate.” If you are playing, be weary of friend requests on Facebook, and don’t forget about guarding your MySpace.

Much plotting and trickery will occur, with each member hoping to make it to the end. Who is next to be assassinated? What means will the assassins take?

This week should prove to be exciting and reveal the winner of the competition. Until then, check out the Classical Studies Club meetings on Wednesday afternoons at 1 p.m. in the Brower Student Center TV Lounge, located above the Rathskeller, if you are interested in participating in games like this in the future. Make sure not to greet them with a hand on their shoulder — they might just call you an assassin.