For Wilson Funkhouser, the most fulfilling part of organizing a campus-wide game of Assassins won’t be giving away $500 in prizes or carrying around a plastic spoon for the game’s duration.
“I’m really excited … to see random people get tagged in front of Tech,” Funkhouser says.
Though he’ll have to pay the prize money out-of-pocket if not enough people sign up and pay the $5 entrance fee, the unflappable Weinberg sophomore says that “it’s going to be okay if I lose money because I want it to be a big part of Northwestern.”
Assassins involves tagging targets with either a plastic spoon or a clean sock. Funkhouser organized the game on a campus-wide scale after playing with his dorm last year. He’s hoping that his flyering and his website will attract at least 100 players, although as of press time he only has 40 who have signed up and paid.
The game has players “from all over campus, including Chapin, Willard, PARC, Sargent, Jones, Bobb, Elder, Phi Delta Theta, Delta Zeta, 2207 Sherman, Shepard, and a lot of off-campus [locations],” Funkhouser says. It’s mostly freshmen and sophomores, but some juniors and seniors are playing too.
The game is fair to on and off-campus students because participants have to submit schedules from CAESAR when they sign up for the game.
Funkhouser’s main goal is to use playNU to popularize the game Humans vs. Zombies, which is similar to Assassins but involves Nerf guns. One person starts as a zombie, then infects the rest until there’s only one band of humans left.
“I want people to say, ‘What is playNU doing this quarter?’” he said.
Although he could not find sponsors around Evanston to support the game, “I came into this understanding that it’s a risk,” he said. Loftier than his involvement and sponsorship goals though, is the aim of bridging the North-South campus divide, which he noticed as a freshman and wants to fix through campus-wide gaming.
Registration ends Wednesday; the game starts Thursday. Head to playnu.com/assassins to register and read up on the rest of the game rules before you start your stalking, because according to Funkhouser, “There is no better time to be joyfully unsophisticated than when you are sneaking up behind someone on Sheridan with a plastic spoon.”
Correction: The article originally stated that playNU was a student organization. PlayNU is not associated in any way with the university. The university has not taken an official stance on Assassins (it neither endorses nor condemns the play of this game on campus). North by Northwestern regrets this error.