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Nerf gun-toting Hinsdale Central seniors on the prowl

More than 240 Hinsdale Central seniors have been part of a game that will continue until only one player remains.

The Class of 2014 Senior Assassins game offers participants the opportunity to be given “targets” to hunt and “kill,” using a Nerf gun or bow and arrow, a squirt gun, or a washable marker to make a mark on someone’s neck. Photos or videos must be taken of all “kills.” Targets are randomly assigned using a computer program, and participants are targets themselves for others while they attempt to find their given targets.

This is the second consecutive year in which the assassin’s game has been played at Central. The game, or something very close to it, has been played at many high schools and colleges around the country. In some places, such as Austin, Texas, the game was being played in school and banned by school officials.

“Our rules don’t allow us to play while we’re at school, at someone’s work, or in their house, unless you’re invited inside,” said Zachary Wilder, a Senior Class Board member at Central, who along with classmate Erik Maday organized the 2014 game.

We’re doing this for fun and to raise some money to help with prom,” Wilder said. “I first heard about this game when the seniors did it last year. I had Nerf fights when I was 4. It is called an ‘assassins’ game, but it is all in good fun, and we do it with safe guidelines.”

Wilders said while the game started in mid-February with 243 Central seniors, it is not affiliated with, nor approved by, school officials. The game likely will end in late April or early May, Wilder said, depending on how long it takes to have only one player remaining. The game is chronicled on Twitter with the handle @HCAssassins2014

Wilder said each participating player paid $5 to sign up. Of the $1,215 collected, Wilder will donate $615 to the Senior Class Board, which will use the money to help cover some of the costs of the 2014 Central prom. The remaining $600 will be awarded as prizes: $400 to the winner, $100 for second place, and $50 to both the third- and fourth-place finishers.

The response to play this year was really good,” Wilder said. “We were hoping to break 200 people. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback; it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Central senior Lindsay Wallace had a fairly elaborate scheme in place to set up her first-round target, Will Hurd, a friend who she “killed” Feb. 20.

“I tried to kill him the night before I did get him,” Wallace said. “I went to his house the next day with one of my friends, Katherine Menza, who was supposedly there to ask him out to the turnabout dance. She pretended to be asking him to the dance, and when he stepped out of his house I shot him with my Nerf gun.”

Wallace’s run ended in the second round when her twin brother, Drew, helped set her up to be shot by Mitchell Meyer, who, coincidentally, also has a twin.

“My brother played it off like he didn’t know,” Wallace said. “He offered Mitchell a ride, and I was in the back seat when I got shot. The driver can’t get shot, but because I was in the back I was able to get shot.”

Wallace said she had fun while playing the Senior Assassins game, but was relieved when it was over for her.

“You can’t leave your house without freaking out,” she said. “You get weird looks from people because you’re walking around with a Nerf gun. I didn’t think I would make it all the way.”

TJ Schmidt advance out of the first two rounds and still was in the game as of March 20. Being friends with his first two targets made it easier to carry out the “kills,” he said.

“I got pretty lucky because it was people I hang out with, so I didn’t have to try to find people I don’t even know,” he said.

Schmidt said he never found out for whom he was a target in either of the first two rounds.

“I never saw anyone; they may have been ‘killed’ by their targets in self-defense,” he said. “It really is just a fun game.”

Schmidt said he completed his first “kill” while at a turnabout dinner at a local restaurant. His target was Christine Dorsett.

“She had no idea,” he said. “I got her using a Nerf gun,” he said. “My second one was another friend, Kate Christian, who I got at a friend’s house.”

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