Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Angelenos and New Yorkers hunted by 'assassins'
Not being Mike Wallace or part of a contingent of paparazzi, I usually don't hide in bushes or dark stairways to ambush people. But that's exactly where I was a few days ago -- and, oh yeah, on the roof of someone's apartment, too.

We're doing a story on these amateur "assassins," who hide out looking to "kill" their target. Sounds violent, but it's actually part of an elaborate game called "StreetWars: Killer." Think paintball, but played with water guns. And not in some arena, but on the streets of Los Angeles or New York City.

Some 200 people are given a list of targets to kill -- and when I say "kill," I mean shoot with a water gun or hit with a water balloon. So you've got your list. But at the same time, you are on someone else's list. So while you're out there looking for your targets, someone else is looking for you. All you get to start is a picture, a name, some basic info. The players Google each other, look through records, and do all kinds of other stuff to find out where their targets work and play.

We were assigned to "Agent Tuna," a 20-something woman living in Hollywood. We scheduled the interview days earlier and called when we were on our way, but when I knocked on her door, she was so paranoid she wouldn't let us in for 5 minutes, not until we proved we were with CNN and not trying to set her up.

Pretty soon we were on the road, driving by her targets' homes. We were literally crouching in bushes, crawling on the ground, waiting for these people to come home.

I thought this game was silly at first, but after a few hours, I started to feel paranoid too. I was looking around, watching my back, getting nervous about getting found out. Then I would get excited when cars pulled up, thinking it might be our -- or rather, her -- target.

At one point, we climbed up a lady's balcony to hop over to the roof. Later that night, we crouched in a dark stairwell for hours, after "Agent Tuna" got a lead that her target was on her way home.

I asked her: Do you realize how ridiculous we seem sitting here in some alley on a Thursday night? She said she asks herself that question all the time, but the adrenaline rush is so incredible she keeps coming back for more. I found this out for myself.

Just as we were packing to leave, "Agent Tuna's" target finally came home. But she missed. And then she missed her second one too. We waited hours in that dark stairway for her third to arrive. Just when it looked like the night would be a bust, targets two and three ambushed her. Number three got away, but "Agent Tuna" recorded her first "kill" when she blasted target two. Now all she has to do is get the other ones...and watch her own back.
Posted By Chris Lawrence, CNN Correspondent: 11:27 AM ET
  92 Comments
It is great to hear that there are actually fun "Streetwars" going on in the big cities and not just the violent ones.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Durham NC : 12:11 PM ET
Stupid!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Ocala, FL : 1:10 PM ET
Urban Paintball!! I have been talking about how much fun this would be for months. Maybe someone heard me...and stole my idea....great, now I'm paranoid... :)

Sounds like fun - Thanks, Chris!
Posted By Anonymous Jess - New York, NY : 1:10 PM ET
If these people feel that they have to play ADULT assassin games in public, then they are worse off than I thought! Don't we have enough odd-behaving people out on the streets? Crouching in bushes and dark stairwells, displaying paranoia behaviours´┐Ż..and for what? The rush? I hear Disneyland offers the same rush.
Posted By Anonymous Nicki Ferguson, Calgary, Alberta : 1:11 PM ET
I recall playing that game years ago in school. In the early 80s it was referred to as KAOS. Killing As An Organized Sport. We met at school as part of the Glee Club. Surprised the principal never looked into it more.
Posted By Anonymous Brad, Toronto, Ontario : 1:12 PM ET
Ick!
I sincerely hope that the "players" are using play water guns that look like water guns and not the versions that resemble actual glocks and the like. Things might not fare so well for individual if someone catches you sneaking around, calls the police, and oops, you get shot. Sheesh, go read a book!
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie H., Brooklyn NY : 1:13 PM ET
Sounds like a great game. I guess people have to be armed with water guns all the time. It would be interesting to see people with water guns at work looking very paranoide
Posted By Anonymous Taher Baderkhan, New York City : 1:15 PM ET
This just encourages more violence and desensitizes violence. Movies do a great job of that and this is why someone created this ridiculous exercise to get a rush. Go skydiving. Why encourage violence? You are making it sound like some kind of cool game. It's not!!! You must live boring lifes.

Heather Stelmack
North Vancouver, B.C.
Canada
God's Country
Posted By Anonymous Heather Stelmack, North Vancouver, B.C. CANADA : 1:15 PM ET
Oh, man! Sign me up! A real life first person shooter video game.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Austin, TX : 1:15 PM ET
Seems like an accident waiting to happen. What happens when a trigger-happy neighbor confuses the water-gun with a real one?
This game works well in a more controlled environment, like a school or college, when everyone is in on the game. In real life, this will be a major headache for the police.
Posted By Anonymous Will - Boston, MA : 1:17 PM ET
There is actually a very similar game played at many college campuses accross the country. As a former Resident Advisor (RA) at the University of California, San Diego, we would coordinate these games with incoming freshman so they could meet eachother and have a little fun at the same time. Instead of water guns, ours shot tiny plastic disks. Participants had a single target, and after successfully hitting their target, acquired their target's target. Usually after several days we'd have a winner, and often would restart the game with irregular rules (i.e. imunity if you carried a pillow with you). Lots of fun, and really interesting to hear that it exists to a larger scale in LA and NY
Posted By Anonymous Jeremy Cogan, Washington DC : 1:17 PM ET
I strongly recommend that people NOT try this in the south, and Texas, where most people are armed.
Lisa
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Baker, Coppell, TX : 1:20 PM ET
I've heard of this before and think it sounds fun. I wonder though if the police are getting a lot of calls from individuals reporting suspicious people hiding in their neighbor's bushes.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 1:21 PM ET
This is like a game my friends and I would play in high school. There were some rules: when you were on school property you were off limits (for obvious reasons) but other that that anything goes. If you were on a date your date was fair game also. We felt the adrenaline rush. Once we had the cops called on us because we had cornered a target at a gas station and the employee of the station thought something seriuos was going on. It was a blast. I wished I lived in LA or NYC so I could get back in on the fun.
Posted By Anonymous Shaun, Goldsboro, NC : 1:23 PM ET
It sounds like a great rush. Just wonder when the first real violence will spill in - someone mistaking a water gun for one with bullets, cops getting called in about a prowler on a roof top and them taking someone down with their own weapons, paranoia festering until a gamer crosses the line and actually attacks someone they think is out to get them. It's too bad, we are such a sick society I can't even imagine such a freerange game without seeing the dangers that will certainly follow.
Posted By Anonymous mjd seattle, wa : 1:24 PM ET
Looks like you guys are almost ready for a hired gunman's job !!!!

Seems fun though, until some player takes this too seriously...
Posted By Anonymous Manon, Longueuil, Quebec : 1:25 PM ET
How is this in any way different from the Assassin(ation) Game that was being played, primarily on college campuses, back in the 1980s? In other words, how is this REMOTELY newsworthy?
Posted By Anonymous Nate, Takoma Park, MD : 1:26 PM ET
Sneaking around houses, hiding in bushes and whipping out a water gun to blast someone sounds like a good way to get yourself arrested or REALLY killed.
Posted By Anonymous S.J. Chapel Hill, NC : 1:27 PM ET
What's this game called? Does it have a web site? Where can I find out more?
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Delray Beach, FL : 1:30 PM ET
That sound like fun! I want in! Do you have a website or a phone # to join? How much does it cost?
Posted By Anonymous Wally, Harlem, NY : 1:30 PM ET
This game was featured on CSI: NY. I was curious if it was an actual game or not. Seems like it would be a lot of fun but it can really mess your daily job up.

Just imagine playing this game and not being able to focus on work or even have trouble sleeping. People will go to every extreme to win.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Waukesha WI : 1:31 PM ET
The first thing I thought of when I read this is, I hate to find out that somebody got shot to death playing this stupid game. Especially with the new law they are trying to pass in Florida. Shoot first, then ask questions. How dumb can people be?
Posted By Anonymous Reba Deahl Washington, DC : 1:32 PM ET
In an age where our video games, movies, and even sports events are becoming more and more violent, i have mixed emotions about this "game." It seems like good natured fun (and i would honestly like to try it) but all too often we see things like this spoiled by a few bad apples. I wonder if this will soon turn sour.
Posted By Anonymous Rik, Huntington Beach, CA : 1:33 PM ET
Can I assume this are folks who grew up in very nuclear families with a soccer mom while electonic multi-tasking? Bet they never played tag, kick the can, flash light tag, TPed a house, had a pillow or water balloon fight or went on a scavenger hunt. It is really time to mourn the loss of neighhoods, sand lots and childhoods.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 1:33 PM ET
This is so fun. I have been playing in NY city since the fall as a rouge assasin (because rules require you live in the 5 burroughs but I did not so the Shadow government allowed me to join as a rouge assasin who is no one's target) We all love to play and thias is a really fun way to play as an adult.
Posted By Anonymous agent zero, Secret,NY : 1:34 PM ET
Have they started a cell in Dallas, TX yet & where can I sign up?
Posted By Anonymous Charley Dallas, TX : 1:36 PM ET
gee, wasn't this a movie in the 80's. And cops can shoot to kill if they think see you with a gun shooting, they don't know it is a water gun. Remembmer when all the kids were getting killed by cops becuase toy manf's had a great idea of making their waterguns look real. What a stupid idea, some people are going to get killed over this I imagine.
Posted By Anonymous beerad, Greensboro NC : 1:37 PM ET
These games must be played in the safer parts of LA and NYC. I can think of several parts of NYC that a person wouldn't want to be caught by real "street assassins" crouching in allies or lurking in stairwells. Also, these people must be fairly nonitimidating. I could see certain members of our society gaining unncessary attention from law enforcement while trying to play this game. I could just imagine the reaction on some faces if someone saw a 6'6, 300 pound individual lunging from a dark alley with what is later identified as a water gun. I don't think that would be a healthy situation if the police happened to be around during the incident.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin - Atlanta, Georgia : 1:38 PM ET
A version of this game is played each year at Columbia University. As the story goes, one undergraduate took the subway to his internship, settled into his cubicle, and expected to be in the clear from being hit. Suddenly, the elevator opens, the person who was assigned him bursts through the doors and squirts him with water in his place of business. No word on how the office received this surprising set of events. Kudos, however, to the assassin who was so committed to killing his target that he rode all over town and waited for the target to let his guard down.
Posted By Anonymous Danny Groner, Silver Spring, Md. : 1:41 PM ET
Is there a legal problem with these assasins climbing up "a woman's balcony" hiding in the dark, etc? I think these people are putting themselves at risk of being arrested or worse, shot, with real guns.

I don't think this kind of activity should be encouraged.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Laughlin, NV : 1:42 PM ET
There was a recent episode of CSI: New York recently that portrayed this game. Of course, they made the possibility of real violence evident.
Posted By Anonymous JT (Ventura, CA) : 1:44 PM ET
I've played this in College and as a summer camp counselor. The adrenaline rush described is unbelievable. The rules we played by stated that no one could see you shoot, and that your water gun could manifest in any form. It was tons of fun! Playing this game in a public place/City in todays post 9/11 climate might prove risky and dangerous though.
Posted By Anonymous David, Houston,TX : 1:46 PM ET
That's AWWWWWWESOME. I wanna play!
Posted By Anonymous Tiffany, Comox, BC : 1:48 PM ET
Reminds me of Super-Soaker Drive-by, basically gang wars with water guns between different pizza joints drivers in San Marcos, TX. Sometimes played with soda water. Sticky!!
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Waco,TX : 1:48 PM ET
I could see high school kids playing such a game, but for adults to be doing it? Come on people, don't you have better things to do with you lives than simulate the most violent of acts?
Posted By Anonymous Matt C. Ann Arbor, Michigan : 1:49 PM ET
Attention adults:

It is OK to play. Playing is good for you. Playing is better for you than watching TV, better for you than surfing the Web. Playing improves your breath and reduces wrinkles. Playing will lower your taxes and help you sleep.

There has been a nasty rumor going around since you graduated high school that play time has ended. This is NOT TRUE.

Go outsite. Run. Skip. Jump. Laugh. Chase. It is your American duty.

When you see someone playing, approach them and say "Can I play too?". If someone asks you to play, say "Yes, of course!"

Now go forth... and play!
Posted By Anonymous Andrew, Pittsburgh, PA : 1:49 PM ET
Living in LA this scares me a bit...just recently a kid was hit in the eye w/a paintball gun by a drive by shooter...and what happens when police get involved and mistake your gun as a real weapon, happens all the time here...unless you're in an enclosed environment this is really going to turn into something bad, especially when someone gets very mad about getting whacked with a water balloon...I see lawsuits, assaults, trespassing arrests coming to a city near you...Can't we stick with extreme dodgeball?
Posted By Anonymous JB, Los Angeles,CA : 1:54 PM ET
Some of these comments concern me. Isn't life too short to stop playing? Loosen up and chill out, people! Personally, I think it sounds like a blast!!!
Posted By Anonymous Danielle Louisville, KY : 2:14 PM ET
The mental image of yuppie businessmen in suits knocking over a table in the breakroom at work to hide from some chucklehead with a squirtgun is pretty awesome. Rock on, StreetWars Killers. Rock on.
Posted By Anonymous Jacquelyn, York, PA : 2:15 PM ET
It sounds like fun!! I just worry that once the adrenaline rush of it all loses its intensity that these "players" will move up the ladder to something more risky with more serious consequences.
Posted By Anonymous Chris White Wilmington, NC : 2:16 PM ET
are you kidding me? wait until someone gets hurt or is shot by a cop...then CNN will do a story about how dangerous this was/is...of course they glorified in their own freaking blog.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, DC : 2:17 PM ET
"Getting accidentally shot by police?" Unless you draw your "water weapon" on the police, I'm not quite sure how you are going to get shot. Sounds like the non players are more paranoid than the ones playing. Sounds fun to me
Posted By Anonymous Jason, Baltimore MD : 2:17 PM ET
This tradition was actually started by a bunch of University Of Texas at Austin undergraduate students. This "sniper" game went on 24hrs a day for 2 entire years. Water balloons and super soaker were the weapons of choice, but at times water bottles, even icechests full of water were used.
Stakeout operations were also used. These undergraduate students have since moved on to jobs around the country, however the game remains. This group still abides by the rules of the game at all times. There have been and will continue to be sneak attacks and stakeouts in participating cities, which include, Austin, Washington DC, Seattle, Dallas and Houston. So anyone in these cities be aware..
Posted By Anonymous bubb rubb - Austin Texas : 2:17 PM ET
If I had read this story on April 1st, I would have suspected it to be an April fool prank. I'm with the others, act like an adult--read a book, before someone gets hurt--maybe a bystander.
Posted By Anonymous Daryl, Cary, NC : 2:17 PM ET
This is AWESOME! What a GREAT IDEA (for those whom aren't all the wussy and uptight women types as posted here on the comments- get a LIFE!) Anyway, there would be/is nothing more here than good 'ol FUN! This sounds great, I'm immediately looking for any groups playing this now in my city, never heard of it. RIGHT ON!

JQP
Posted By Anonymous John Q. Public, Anycity, Anystate USA : 2:17 PM ET
That's what I call the 'dumbing down' of America!
Posted By Anonymous Mark B., Sacramento, CA : 2:17 PM ET
Or perhaps they use water balloons instead of water guns as in what is outlined in the article, but I would definitely be careful in texas, a trigger-happy texan might confuse the two.
Posted By Anonymous Jon, Indianapolis, IN : 2:19 PM ET
I think you are irresponsible to give any media coverage to this juvenile and potentially harmful "game."
Posted By Anonymous Donna Dixon, Glen Head, NY : 2:21 PM ET
Sounds like a lot of fun. And it isn't as if they are targeting strangers, the targets are playing the game themselves so it isn't likely that they are going to mistake the watergun for a real gun and shoot them. I wish they played something like that out here.
Posted By Anonymous Matt, Cincinnati, OH : 2:21 PM ET
Several years ago, we used to play this game up at camp as counselors, but we had to play only in the staff area, so the kids wouldn't see. I thought it was a great idea, because it sort of gave us something to look forward to when we were done working. It was hilarious to see people in camo in trees or waiting on top of tents. One rule we had was that nobody could see you "die." You didn't know who to trust alone with you for a few weeks!!

It's interesting to hear it's now being played on the streets...it seems a little more dangerous to have people lurking about waiting for their target to come in sight. I hope people play safe, and that the "guns" don't freak other people out.
Posted By Anonymous JB, S.F., CA : 2:21 PM ET
This isn't really new, as others have already said. I used to do this in High School back in the mid-80s. It's all fun and games until the cops show up because of some suspicious behaviour. Really.
Posted By Anonymous Phil, Waterloo, IA : 2:22 PM ET
I think this is the most asinine thing I've ever heard of. What about all the neighbors and co-workers who don't know it's a "game"? What if they become concerned when it's obvious that a friend is being stalked? What if one of those friends or acquaintances decides to defend them with a real gun?

If you want to play this kind of "game", do it on the computer.
Posted By Anonymous Linda E., Ottawa, KS : 2:22 PM ET
I give it 1 to 3 months and we will see violence or death coming from this game. Wait until someone fears that ther life is in danger after coming home from work or not realizing that it is a game. I admit, this sounds like fun but those days are over. Agent Tuna, try this at any post office or any Denny's in the US for some real excitement.
Posted By Anonymous Michael S., Frederick, MD : 2:22 PM ET
For someone who lives everyday in fear from threats related to business, I can honestly say that this is no game, to me at least. Someone could really end up dead....Real funny.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, Atlanta, GA : 2:22 PM ET
never heard of this game, but it sounds like fun. Anyone up for a game?
Posted By Anonymous Bob, Mt. Laurel, NJ : 2:22 PM ET
There's a 2001 movie called Series 7: The Contenders that plays this scenario out as a reality show. The "kills" however, are for real. It is interesting to see what people are willing to go through for some excitement.
Posted By Anonymous D.R. Richmond, VA : 2:22 PM ET
Great game... this should help to ease the mind of a nation already concerned about terrorists and gangs roaming the streets.

And what happens when these amateur "assassins" decide to turn professional?
Posted By Anonymous Barb - Cleveland, OH : 2:23 PM ET
This was shown a few weeks ago on CSI:NY. As interesting and as much fun as it can be, it can easily get out of control. In CSI:NY one of the victims found dead was a player of this game. He accidentally got killed by another player who was trying to scare him with a real gun that had blanks in it after being "killed" by the victim in a way he felt wasn't right. He fired out point blank, thinking it would just make a loud noise, but the velocity of the burst and gas expansion penetrated the victim like a real bullet. It wasn't intentional but it happened because it got out of hand. Again, fun and clever idea but should only be performed when monitored or within a regulated "play zone" (ex: campus, park, etc). Plus having personal info given out about the players can lead to many other problems, such as: theft, assault, rape, etc. Extremely dangerous if put in the wrong hands.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Saint Inigoes, Maryland : 2:23 PM ET
Does anyone remember "T.A.G.-The Assassination Game"? The movie starred Linda Hamilton (Terminator) and Bruce Abbott. They used dart guns. Short synopsis- It's all fun and games until someone gets serious and uses a real gun. HELLLO!
Posted By Anonymous Officer Mortimer J. Thurman Jr. : 2:24 PM ET
Heather from BC - you say that sounds like they live boring lives? Sounds the opposite to me based on his entry. What do y'all get up to that's exciting in "God's Country"?

We played Aquassassin back in high school, same premise, and it was a blast. Imagine biking home from work with a Super Soaker strapped to your back! And as far as I know, none of my classmates or co-workers turned out to be killers. All in good fun. :)
Posted By Anonymous Shannon R, Ottawa, ON : 2:25 PM ET
Overall this is a fun idea, but the sad fact is exactly what JB calls out -- we live in a society of fear, so the 'harmless fun' described in the article will end up getting someone killed by a police officer or an armed homeowner...
Posted By Anonymous KLM, Atlanta, GA : 2:27 PM ET
Welcome to high school. I've been playing "Assassins" on and off for 10 years. We traditionally had more weapon variety than water guns. Creativity is the name of the game. Once, I dropped an empty refrigerator box on a target from a retaining wall next to his driveway. He was "crushed by a falling refrigerator." I was once the victim of "poisoned wine" when someone poured salt into my glass after pulling the old "hey, what's that over there?" trick.
Posted By Anonymous David, Washington DC : 2:27 PM ET
I played this in college with rules very similar to the ones described by Jeremy at 1:17pm.

Fond memories of my college days but like many things done in college - I've grown up and don't to them anymore. It's one thing to stalk outside/inside a dorm but it's another to be a grown adult in the bushes of a stranger's home.
Posted By Anonymous RO, Washington, DC : 2:28 PM ET
We played "assasins" in undergrad. The goal was to it your target with a sock. It was campus wide, so during those weeks the dinning halls were empty... nobody left there room. I don't care how childish it was because it was fun. If we can't hit each other with socks (no head blows) in the name of fun then what kind of society are we?
Posted By Anonymous Bukky, Baltimore, MD : 2:29 PM ET
We did this when I was in college, only we all threw in a buck and the winner got the pot. Worked out great, except two guys teamed up, worked together in secret, and then split the money. That was the end of the game - we were all a little ticked at the result. But it was fun for a couple of days.
Posted By Anonymous Darren, Lubbock, TX : 2:29 PM ET
Hey, I'm all for having fun, but come on. WHY would anyone waste so much time on something this trivial. What ever happened to going to the movies; holding hands in the dark; making out in the back row? Now that's an adrenaline rush. It sounds like Agent Tuna has a hard time finding a date.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl Welch, Raleigh NC : 2:30 PM ET
Adults wasting their time as psedo hitmen squirting each other with the latest watergun. Two opinions:
Why is this news? If it is organized, aren't the players concerned about stalking and tresspassing? Get another hobby.
Posted By Anonymous Chuck Mazzarella from Wyoming, PA : 2:33 PM ET
It sounds like there is great potential for a Darwin Award here!
Posted By Anonymous Ross, Albany, Oregon : 2:35 PM ET
Whatever happen to "LaserTag"?? It does not get any better than that, It's safe, it's a closed environment and best yet, the cops will NOT arrest you. This street game seems a bit dangerous; with all the things happening in the world right now the last thing we need is to be playing a game when someone is not. Let's keep it safe...play LaserTag instead!!
Posted By Anonymous Sunny, Fayetteville NC : 2:35 PM ET
I don't even know what to say.....the water wars thing is probably one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of ......but i do some ridiculous things too.....I guess
Posted By Anonymous John Tulsa OK : 2:35 PM ET
I agree with several of the above. These people are a tragedy waiting to happen! Some one is going to blow them away with a real gun and then they (if they survive) or their survivors will be clamoring for money expecting compensation for their injury or loss. And will probably be blaming the Government or the police for not keeping them safe. What idiots! Dear God, weren't video and PC games good enough! Do we need to take fake violence to the streets as well?
Posted By Anonymous Dave S. Corpus Christi, TX : 2:36 PM ET
About 20 years ago, I was arrested in Garland, Texas while playing a similar game with toy guns. Someone called the police and reported "drug dealers running around outside with machine guns" and four of us spent a few hours in jail. We were charged with disorderly conduct, but the case was thrown out at trial. Fun game, but there is potential for a bad situation if someone mistakes the toys for real weapons.
Posted By Anonymous Will, Austin, TX : 2:37 PM ET
These people really need to get a life!
Posted By Anonymous Mike S., Chicago, Illinois : 2:37 PM ET
I guess some wouldn't understand, nay-say, play out false scenarios, etc but...where again do I sign up?
Posted By Anonymous Jesse, Columbus, OH : 2:37 PM ET
Wow, you people should really listen to yourselves. "What if, what if, what if". If people lived like that we would have no reason to live.

Millions of squirtguns are sold every year, to CHILDREN. They shoot each other ALL THE TIME. Now adults do it and "you better watch your back or you'll really get shot".

I think it's worth the risk. This doesn't desensitize anyone any more than GI Joe, transformers or even SHE-RA for that matter (all cartoons!). Stop making everything so negative and GET OUT AND HAVE SOME FUN!!!!!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Ryan S, Lakewood, Wa : 2:37 PM ET
It sounds like fun, but it also sounds quite dangerous. Unlike paintball, played on a set playing area, people are playing this out among people woh have no idea what the players are doing. In an urban environment, someone is likely to be at least arrested, or even shot, by police who don't realize it's a game among consenting players. In a more rural environment, someone is likely to shot by an armed citizen thinking he's defending his or someone else's life.

With the publicity the crime of stalking now has, it seems likely to me that, even in the stalking phase of the "attack", a bystander is likely to think a crime is being committed. Once the player's weapon comes out, I predict tragedy.
Posted By Anonymous brian, Cornish, NH : 2:38 PM ET
Nice. And one day you'll be doing a hand-wringing blog after some poor fool gets wasted by cops for packing a water pistol in a darkened stairwell. "Oh, yeah, the adrenaline was really pumping just before I took two to the chest."

Oh well, I guess that's Darwinism at work. An excellent way to thin the herd a little, one chump at a time.
Posted By Anonymous Brian MacDougall, Berkeley, CA : 2:38 PM ET
I think a lot of people leaving comments didn't get the fact that the Targets are playing the game too. The Targets have targets of thier own and as the killer you are someone's target. If someone who signs up for a water balloon fight sues for getting hit with a water balloon I hope they get laughed out of court.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Urbana, Il : 2:38 PM ET
Are you guys serious? Do you realize the normative implications of playing a "streetwars" game such as the one you have so unfortunately attempted to illustrate for the American public? What kind of message does it send, especially to people who truly do not understand the American culture? You clearly have some neo-anarchic fantasies embedded in your mind. Your attempt to illuminate this so-called amatuer assassin game not only serves to encourage people to spy and accost people in their most private spaces, but also reinforces a behavior that we all want to see vaporated. Do you understand that a majority of our military is deployed in a foreign country where these games are not played with water guns. Irrational individuals who think they can enhance this game might begin to use more sophisticated "weapons" to hit their target, which will unquestionable make you ask yourself, "yeah, why did I play that game again?" To all those in L.A. and N.Y. trying to fulfill their most intiimate desires, please consider the social impact that your behavior may have. And for the news-reporters who get a kick out of playing along, may God have mercy on your soul....
Posted By Anonymous Mickey M., U of MN, MN : 2:41 PM ET
Becoming popular because of the CSI episode. It I am not sure if this should have been blogged. Especially when teachers, media, and community officials frown against it.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Providence, RI : 2:43 PM ET
This reminds me of the movie "GOTCHA". I always thought it would be a fun game. and still now it sounds like it would be a blast.
Posted By Anonymous fred, mexico, mo. : 2:49 PM ET
I agree, these types of games can be fun IF you do it in a enclosed environment where those who aren't playing wont get confused, upset and or injured. Isn't there facilities that have the environment/equipment to do this? Example: Paint Ball.

I can see this coming up on the local news one day: "Under cover cop mistaken as target for water war game."
Posted By Anonymous Jessica from LA, California : 2:50 PM ET
Wow, just like Halo with water guns, Count me in!
Posted By Anonymous Dano, Orlando FL : 2:50 PM ET
I think this sounds fun, but I also understand everyone's concerns. This is a very edgy situation. For one, I don't think people would do this with replica 9MM guns, I see people using super soakers and obvious waterguns. Also, I don't think something like this would bring more violence because the people involved know it is for a thrill and not for the purpose of carrying out an actual violent act with larger consequences. If someone confuses the two, we shouldn't look at the originators of this game because they drew the line. There are a lot of things that could go wrong, but I think that those things would only go wrong due to people misinterpreting the actualy point of this game.
Posted By Anonymous Todd, Minneapolis, MN : 2:51 PM ET
This really sounds like fun but I think it would be better served on a college campus. Being a former NYer this game could get out of control and someone can really get shot.
Posted By Anonymous Jerome, Charlotte, NC : 2:51 PM ET
This is actually a blast. Our high school (Yorktown High School) in New York used to do this every year. We had to make a rule that said if there was any police involvement or parental complaints against you, your team was disqualified.

Relax on the violence end people, this is just a fun way to do something outside and in the streets. Maybe if more people were playing in the streets and involved with people in our neighborhoods, it would keep the wrong people off the street.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff - Chandler, AZ : 2:51 PM ET
This sounds like so much fun! Maybe I should organize one in my home town. In my town now I heard there are huge scavenger hunts. People get clues that take them all over the city. That sounds a little less violent, but still all for fun :)
Posted By Anonymous Jennie Erie, PA : 2:53 PM ET
You haters are so paranoid I can feel your personal security color rising to red. Lighten up! I am pretty sure these folks are using neon-colored water pistols and water balloons. It's not like they're going to sit outside your window and become the next Peeping Tom - if you're in the game, you're in, if you're not, you're bound not to notice.
Posted By Anonymous Lindsey, Chicago, IL : 2:53 PM ET
Sounds like a good way to get shot!!
Posted By Anonymous Chris- Atlanta GA : 2:55 PM ET
I was in undergrad in the nineties and we played this game then until several cohorts got expelled when it went overboard with a professor teaching class getting caught in the crossfire. Now I am back in graduate school and we play a similar game late night drinking game roaming around the dark alleys and streets avoiding cops and going for the kill. Its great fun and safe for all!
Posted By Anonymous BK, Knoxville, TN : 2:55 PM ET
Sounds like 'Tag: The Assassination Game' revamped 24 years later. Funny. Is Linda Hamilton playing, too? Because, without her or Robert Carradine, it's just not Tag! ;)
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Omaha, NE : 2:56 PM ET
My only comment is some people on here need to get a sense of humor. Everybody playing the game is in on it. There aren't going to be any lawsuits, fights, assaults. If you don't sign up, you don't get wet. Simple...we as players know what we are getting into.

This is happening in Portland, OR too. The 3rd game is set to start May 22nd.
Posted By Anonymous Colin, Portland OR : 2:56 PM ET
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