Reader opinion requested: Should these campus games be banned?


When I was in high school, my life was wanting for espionage. I was too restless to devote much time to online RPGs--the only really popular one was Quake, and although it was scored by NIN, I was too recently out of nerddom to take part in virtual death matches. But by my junior year in high school, the pendulum of cool was nudging back over to the subversive, kinda nerdy side. MTV's "Daria" was in and my gentlemen friends who'd fared puberty intact could pregame for QuakeCon and still reasonably get a perky, generally symmetrical date to Homecoming. The social climate that fall was ripe for a new kind of forum, and suddenly I was signing up to play some new game called "Assassin."

If you've ever played it--especially if during the more formative, hierarchical years of your life--you could probably understand the terror that slowly overtook my life: stake-outs at tennis practice, the anxious skulk through the parking lot, eyes glued to rear view mirrors all the way home. My life was superseded by the gaunt, afflicted senior who'd "killed" my original, quite harmless female perp & inherited me as the next obstacle in the path to live-action RPG glory. Ultimately (and once I could no longer answer the phone at night while babysitting, completely a la Scream), I bowed out of the game before I had any traction...Of course, after the real life terror of the horrible VTU shootings, school officials are urging students to put an end to "Assassin" and its target-based derivatives. What do you think? Did you ever participate in any of these live-action campus RPGs and do you think they're appropriate?