Happy Hunger Games: Seniors battle it out to be the last one standing in The Viking Games

By Carolyn Freeman

Forget seniors killing themselves over meeting college deadlines — they’re turning their rage on each other.

Many members of the senior class are lurking the hallways, searching for their next victims. In Whitman’s version of The Hunger Games, seniors trade bows and arrows, knives and swords for colorful highlighters. In order to “kill” competitors, a mark on the arm or hand is all that’s needed.

Seniors Caroline Crawford, Julia Dionne, Nicole Payne and Jonathan Poffley created The Viking Games as a simple way to enjoy second semester senior year while raising funds for a good cause, Poffley said.

There is a four dollar participation fee, three dollars of which will go to Hurricane Sandy relief. The other dollar goes to the website that organizes the game by assigning targets and keeping track of kills.

“It’s more of a personal thing to me because a lot of my extended family lost their homes in the storm,” Dionne said. “We thought about giving the money to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but we ended up deciding on giving it to Sandy victims.”

Along with paying four dollars, seniors needed to sign up and create an alias on the “Whitman Assassins” page on sassins.com, a website made specifically for creating assassin games.

Among the aliases, “Gossip Girl,” “︻╦╤─ – – -,” and “Freezy” are some of the most creative. Also among the aliases are a number of references to historical figures, such as “John Wilkes Booth” and “Woodrow Willson.”

“We made this website because we were running an assassins game at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and decided we didn’t want to go through the hassle of keeping track of assigning targets and handling disputes,” Sassins website creator Ryan Mulligan said. “We made a website to help us do the hard work.”

There are 140 players signed up for the game, and administrators of the game hope that it will become a senior tradition. On the first day, about 25 competitors were eliminated.

“It would be really great if we could make this something that happens every year and was something seniors could look forward to at the end of exams and at the beginning of second semester,” Payne said.

Restrictions on the games include the validity of bathroom eliminations (eliminations are okay unless the person is actually going to the bathroom), a time frame of when eliminations must occur (between 7:00 AM and 2:45 PM, or at school events), and if you see someone attempting to “kill” you, the attempted assassination is invalid.

So to everyone participating — happy Viking Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.