Senior Elimination nears its end

Benjamin Huang and Marvin Zou

Elimination is almost up: The game has 75 Palo Alto High School seniors remaining as of Wednesday evening, less than a third of the game’s original player count.

As students returned from spring break, Senior President David Foster and Senior Vice President Annie Tsui instituted a new rule: Players are only safe from being tagged if their ball is held in both hands.

“It’s been fun seeing the game evolve and seeing how people’s playstyles progress as the rules change,” senior Warren Wagner said.  “I’ve been mostly playing pretty defensive. I’ve only gotten one kill. … hopefully that’ll work out.”

Elimination first began on March 1 with close to 300 seniors participating, according to Foster. Each player is randomly assigned a target on the game website whom they must tag with a small plastic beach ball. In the beginning of the game, players are immune from being tagged as long as they hold the beach ball in their hand.

According to the game rules, students cannot be tagged in classrooms, while taking a test, or while riding a bike.

One month and 200 eliminations later, the game is still going strong, and Foster says everything has been great despite the difficulties with the specifics of the game.

“It is unsurprisingly very difficult to run a game with 336 people,” Foster said. “Every day there is some concern Annie or I need to deal with to make sure the game runs smoothly.”

The overall idea behind Elimination is to bring the senior class closer together by playing a fun universal game with the whole class. Foster says the game has been successful in uniting the class.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this as a class,” Foster said. “So often you see people that have never met tagging one another and it’s cool to see those new connections.”

However, on March 22, rules changed to specify that players were only safe when the ball was in one hand and touching their head. As of Monday, the rules have changed again, and students are only safe if their ball is held in both hands.

“It’s physically easier, like you don’t get tired out from doing it,” Wagner said on the rule change. “But it’s hard because if you want to do literally anything like open a door or pack up stuff or put on your backpack, you have to take one of your hands off it for just a tiny bit of time.”

As the game progresses, Foster says the senior class should expect more curveballs thrown by the student body in this game of Elimination.

“There will probably be another rule change or purge in the next few weeks,” Foster said.