A once harmless game has now ignited outrage. Previously enjoyed by high schools across the country, Senior Assassin has provoked extreme controversy regarding its morality and school suitability. But what exactly is Senior Assassin? It is a game in which seniors pay an entrance fee to participate and then are assigned a target (another senior) who must be “eliminated” by a water gun. After the first wave of targets are eliminated, seniors still standing are assigned new targets who they must eliminate. This process is rinsed and repeated until only one person is standing, and that individual receives a cash prize for being the sole survivor.
This game is undoubtedly credited with promoting an interactive and fun environment in which seniors can enjoy their final moments together before college, but some feel that it has been taken too far. Given the plague of gun violence, manifested most recently in the shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, many people are concerned about the roles of guns in our culture.
Although the game uses water guns to eliminate other players, they are guns nonetheless. Of course, water guns are not harmful, but they can still be easily mistaken as real firearms. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that students play Senior Assassin in all types of locations, including on private property belonging to other individuals and organizations. For example, according to Blind Brook High School’s principal Jennifer Chirles, seniors “shot” a fellow student at KTI Religious School, on synagogue property. She then explained, “Given the events in Buffalo and Texas, having a ‘shooting’ game is tone deaf, in poor taste, and is very disappointing.” Chirles then demanded that the game be stopped immediately. While there are those who consider the ban of a water gun game futile and unnecessary, others believe that it was in every sense justified. Individuals in the latter category believe that people must take more care in their actions and respect those in crisis so that we, as a community, can prevent horrific events from causing more pain.