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Illustration by Mahgul Farooqui

Assassin Game Popular with Students Even as Final Exams Loom

Hear from the winner of last semester's infamous Assassin game. A student favorite at NYUAD.

May 12, 2019

The second round of Assassin for the academic year of 2018/19 began on May 10. The game, which involves students assassinating assigned peer targets by marking them with a red pen, was organized by the Student Government Programming Board. Upon signing up for the game, students are randomly assigned another student who they then attempt to mark. When they kill – mark – their target, the assassin adopts that students’ target and continues the hunt. Nearly 170 students signed up for this much anticipated marker-tagging-spree in a bid to reduce stress surrounding finals week.
The last iteration of Assassin ended on Nov. 28 at exactly 12:29 p.m. Emerging from the bloodshed of markers and sharpies was Taiwanese Class of 2022 student, Christopher Chen. Chen stealthily took the life of 2017 Assassin Champion Gaurav Dewani in plain sight of the Campus Center lobby.
On his win, Chen said: “It was such a surreal moment when my marker finally touched his neck and I knew that I had won. It was definitely the highlight of my semester. I feel like I’ve peaked in life to be honest. That win definitely made up for me being kicked out after Top 16 in the Super Smash Bros tournament.”
Assassin is a game that has historically involved much of the student body. Even non-participants collaborate in order to help players take down a target, often resulting in some interesting and hilarious blunders. Professors have even been known to get in on the killing, helping students take down their targets after class.
“I was taken down after class when the Professor asked me to stay back a bit for a ‘chat’! Little did I know the danger that was waiting,” Scarlet Ng, Class of 2022 commented.
The rules of Assassin dictate that while all public spaces qualify as arenas for the game, private spaces including bathrooms and dormitories are safe zones where students cannot be assassinated.
On giving advice for future winners and his legacy, Chen added, “I was just lucky.”
Ming Ee Tham is Deputy News Editor. Email her at
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