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A Killer Game: sitting down with the heads of Spoon Assassins

Ella+Johnson+24+and+Billy+Bratton+25+are+running+this+years+spoon+game
Helen Moses
Ella Johnson ’24 and Billy Bratton ’25 are running this year’s spoon game

From Monday, Oct. 10 until the end of Fall Term, over 100 Carleton students are partaking in the game “Spoon Assassins,” in which players are assigned a target to hunt down and kill with a spoon.

“It is pretty much just a silly little game where, for the low, low price of a dollar, you earn the right to be both predator and prey for … [anywhere between] a few days [and] many weeks,” said Billy Bratton ’25, the head of the game.

“Spoon Assassins” is open to all class years and includes some students from last year who are returning to the game this fall.

“I wanted to play again both because I got eliminated in a pretty anti-climatic way last year,” said Madeline Tabora ’26, a returning Spoons player. “I felt that as a sophomore, I might have an advantage by knowing ways to catch my target or avoid being assassinated.”

Bratton organized this all-campus game along with co-head Ella Johnson ’24, who declined to comment.

Bratton first became involved in the game in his sophomore year as one of the players.“I ended up finishing fifth [last year], but I got really into it and sort of had the idea of running it in the back of my mind [to continue the game]. My good friend Ella Johnson texted me the other day, saying I should make [the game] happen since no one else was about to, and I decided to go for it.”

With that, Bratton started organizing this year’s game of “Spoon Assassins.” “Last year, there were over 200 sign-ups,” said Bratton. This year’s total of 191 was slightly less, but “anywhere more than a hundred should be more than enough for a great game.”

Bratton started heading the game last year, and he has been working to make improvements to the game’s second iteration. “I emailed Liza, who co-ran it last time, and asked for permission to take the helm this year since she’s off campus,” said Bratton. “I’ve been working on streamlining the game a little bit and making things like target assignments and emails more automated to remove the possibility of human error. After all, if I mess up, I can’t blame anyone else and I must carry my guilt to the grave.”

Returning players such as Tabora have likely noticed these changes throughout the first week of the game.

Last year, if you noticed your assassin coming towards you and pointed a fork at them while yelling ‘AVADA KEDAVRA’ before they killed you,” said Tabora, “you would be safe for the rest of that encounter.” That rule has been discontinued this year.

“A[nother] major change I’ve noticed is that last year, you had two weeks to kill your target at first,” said Tabora.

This year, players take on their kill’s target, so the game is always in motion.  Additionally, players only have until Oct. 20 to kill their first target (after recieving the target on Oct. 9)  which adds to the fast-paced nature of “Spoon Assassins.”

The spoons game last year was very chaotic, many people didn’t seem to really have a plan other than just hoping that they eventually saw their target while in the dining hall or on the way to class,” said Tabora. “A lot of times things ended in an ‘anything goes’ chase, which was very entertaining for everyone.”

This year, players seem to be spending more time strategizing, from investing in disguises to stalking their target’s class schedule.

“I’ve heard of some very elaborate plots, both to try and kill a target or avoid an assassin,” said Tabora. “The freshmen this year also seem to be really into it, which makes the whole game a bit more exciting.”

Playing Spoons for the second time, Tabora finds herself enjoying this year’s changes. “My favorite part is definitely helping my friends come up with plans to corner or find their target,” said Tabora. “It’s very fun to put a plan into action and see if your stealth or speed is up to par with other opponents.

Bratton also looks forward to this fall’s game as well as the overall future of “Spoon Assassins.”

“It would be great if the game kept going for a long time and someone stepped up to run it every fall, as long as enough people are interested in playing,” said Bratton. “I’ll be gone in two years, but maybe this could be my legacy.”

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About the Contributor
Zoe Roettger, Features Editor
Hi there!  I'm Zoe (she/her), and I'm a prospective Linguistics major with a Classics minor.  I love anything language-related, arts-related, writing & reading, and cats.  I also have a spider plant named "Pulchra," which, against all odds, is still alive.  When not testing my plant's resiliency, I can usually be found in Anderson or Blue Monday. Zoe Roettger '27 was previously an Arts & Features writer.

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