What is Senior Assassin?
Senior Assassin, also known as Senior Tag, Killer Game and Catcher Games, is a live action game commonly played by high school seniors and university students. The game lasts for multiple weeks and every player is assigned a target (another player) that they have to tag. Tagging is done differently at different schools, but the most common methods are squirting your target with a water gun or taping them on the shoulder. When you’ve tagged your target you get a new one, and the goal is to tag as many players as possible before the game ends, without being tagged yourself.
The game is often described as intense, competitive, exciting and fun. Students go to great lengths to catch their targets for “fame and fortune”, as there is often a cash prize to be collected by the winner. Players recruit their friends and family to help them, new relationships are created and some players even get up at 5:00 in the morning to eliminate their targets, if that’s not real sacrifice I don’t know what is.
During the Senior Assassin season, social media is flooded with funny videos of players catching their targets in creative and sometimes unbelievable ways. The game really is a way to create lasting memories with friends and foes.
Rules and variations
Every game has a Game Host who starts with advertising that a game will take place. Players sign up and are assigned targets. The host doesn’t play themselves, but take on the role of administration and referee when needed. Hosting a game can be time consuming, so many hosts use the Catcher Games website to make it effortless. Read more about hosting Senior Assassin here.
There are as many game variations as there are games being played. Every school makes it their own thing with their own rules. The methods of eliminating targets can be anything from water guns to cucumbers but should always be unharmful items that cannot be mistaken as real weapons.
Some rules establish “Safe Zones” where players are protected from elimination. Common Safe Zones are inside classrooms and at sports games.
Some rulesets require players to have at least one witness (or a video recording) when they eliminate their target.
Why is it so popular?
Why Senior Assassin has become such a phenomenon is difficult to say. At some schools the game has been a tradition for decades. The game was first published in 1982 and has since appeared in multiple works of popular culture, including feature films and tv series like Gossip Girl, Community and ICarly. Its popularity could be attributed to the general excitement of playing, its appearances in media or its similarities to popular video games, we can not know for sure.
Whatever the reason for its popularity, one thing is clear: Senior Assassin is beloved by students around the world and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.