Groningen: Town of Assassins
‘Grandmaster Assassin’ Cairo Geha, a student in liberal arts and sciences at UCG and a member of the social committee of the Caerus Study Association, is the brains behind the game, which was popular among seniors at his high school in America. ‘We were trying to find a game or event that would get everyone in the community excited, and I randomly remembered this game’, says Geha.
Assassins is a live action – and paranoia-inducing – game designed to pit members of the UCG community against each other. Every player is an assassin, and every assassin receives human targets and attempts to eliminate them. The game runs 24/7 for the duration of one week and requires players to do a healthy amount of sneaking, planning and deceiving in order to survive and progress further.
People have been running around for a week trying to ‘kill’ each other with bibles, teabags and water pistols
The social committee organised the game and created a rulebook for how it is played. Aside from a few locations like the UCG lecture halls and classrooms, and the bedrooms of the students which are off limits, the assassinations could take place anywhere from the UCG canteen to the toilets and hallways, as long as there are no witnesses present. Strategies vary from waiting for the ‘victims’ to be alone in the open, for example by preying on targets who linger after a lecture to talk with a professor to creeping up behind them in dormitory bathrooms and bike sheds.
With three players remaining and more than 47 staff and student members who have participated in the live-action game, Assassins has been much more popular than the committee anticipated, and it seems destined to become a UCG tradition for the years to come.
The idea took the community by storm and soon everyone was playing. ‘I, personally, was one of the more passive players, but Cairo encouraged us all to play’, says Tom Barbereau, a student in politics, philosophy and economics at UCG. ‘It was quite cool as all the students played.’
UCG is one of many universities around the world, such as Duke and Cambridge, in which the game is played with multiple variations and different playing styles. The version UCG students have chosen puts the emphasis on comedy. Players are encouraged to choose their own unusual and crazy weapons. ‘As a result, members of the community have been running around for a week trying to ‘kill’ each other with bibles, teabags, water pistols, UCG business cards and many objects that are more miscellaneous’, says Geha.
The most hilarious and memorable assassination stories, photos and strategies are rewarded with extra points. The best assassins will go down in history as the first winner of the game and will have the option of joining the game design team for next year.