“It’s Called Paranoia for a Reason” – Week 1 Recap

In the lead up to the beginning of Paranoia, there were some doubts as to how successful it would be, and whether its coordinator, senior Zeyad Alam, would be able to keep track of all of its moving parts, including over 300 participants. It’s fair to say it has exceeded expectations.

For some teams, the game has even taken over their lives, making any moments spent outside a potential emergency. Those caught dragging their feet didn’t even last the weekend, and those who made it to Monday did so by keeping their head on a swivel, trusting no one. It’s as they say, they call it Paranoia for a reason.

In what many have been referring to as the “Massacre at Meatheads,” Seniors Bill Avery and Landen Messner were eliminated at a local hamburger chain.

“I don’t know if I want to talk about it,” Messner said with a tear in his eye. “It’s a touchy subject.”

The trouble began, says Messner, almost immediately. He admits his elimination was a result of a series of foolish mistakes.

“The biggest fail happened when we decided not to go through the drive through,” Messner began, then added, “One of us went onto Snapchat… that was the fatal flaw right there.”

The trouble began almost immediately.”

Per the rules, players must have their location services on, so simply opening the Snapchat app acts as a beacon, letting the other team know exactly where you are.

“We knew it was going down when we saw George in Lake Bluff,” Messner said, referring to opponent Senior George Schoettle. “We saw Dante and Tommy coming around the corner… It felt like a movie. I heard sad music playing in my head. I dodged Tommy four or five times, he’s a pretty bad shot… but he did catch up to me.”

Although this memory still frightens Messner, he managed to remain optimistic for the future.

“Only Bill and I died,” Messner said. “We’ve learned from our mistakes and we’re stronger than ever.”

When teams thought they could rely and help each other, people slowly began to turn on one another for the worse. Senior Emily Asmussen was killed in effort to help a fellow friend.

“I got set up last week,” Asmussen explained. “My good friend Megan told me that Maggie needed my help but when I rolled up to Megan’s I see Bridget McGreevy’s car… I’m not stupid, I’m not gonna get out of my car.”

However, when Asmussen was told no one was there hunting her, she ran towards the house in full trust of her ally, only to be shot and killed by the enemy.

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While some teams encountered action and thrill, others had to rely on patience.  Senior Priscilla Levy stayed persistent in a hunt as she waited for Senior Samantha Dueringer to make a move.

“We waited outside Sam’s car for three hours,” Levy said.  “I turned away for a second, and she opened her door and shot me.”

Senior Henry Feingold has unsurprisingly kept an aggressive outlook for the game. When asked about being tracked in his car by senior Dante Mancini, Feingold scoffed, “Dante drives like an old woman under the influence.”

Feingold also recalled when he caught Mancini planning a surprise attack on his own driveway. “Driving home one day and seeing Dante’s shoes under my Dad’s car… I instantly knew,” Feingold said, saying that in order to be caught, he expects his competitors to step up their game.

Senior Caroline Kissel, on the other hand, has lost confidence in the integrity of the game. Facing a team who “won’t back down without a fight,” Kissel turned to any tactic possible in order to take her team to the top.

“It’s frustrating to be playing against a team that pulls everything they can and bends the rules to make it seem like your own team isn’t playing fair when really they are the ones at fault,” Kissel explained.

As teams fight against Snapchat locations, missed shots, and possible deaths, others encountered people outside of the game. Senior Max Scholz waited outside of a player’s house ready to attack at any moment. What came next, however, was not part of his plan.

“We think a dad pulled a gun on us,” Scholz said. “I feel like that’s not right.”

Now that round one has come to a close and round two is underway, the true survivors are slowly uncovering their abilities in order to make their way up the Nerf war food chain.

Below are the winners for Week 1

Matchups (Winners bold)*

Sammy O’Connell’s Team vs. Cristina Machado’s Team

Justin McCartney’s Team vs. Renee Huang’s Team

Eleanor Colligan’s Team vs Zeyad Alam’s Team

Jen Leeson’s Team vs. Lauren Tustiston’s Team

Anisha Parichuru’s Team vs. Berkeley Disch’s Team TIE

Sam Randall’s Team vs Hannah Atchley’s Team

Adam Clayton’s Team vs. Anna Aquino’s Team

Sarah Considine’s Team vs. Andrew Fluri’s Team

Nolan Petzer’s Team vs. Aidan Block’s Team

Parker Kelly’s Team vs. Nick Wnuk’s Team

Katie Stovold’s Team vs. Clare Bradley’s Team

Ethan Kurian’s Team vs. Tate Dahlgren’s Team

Andrew St. Amand’s Team vs. Kyle Mendelson’s Team

Evan Devine’s Team vs. David Kasbeer’s Team

Katie Abdallah’s Team vs. Alyvia Rohrs’ Team

JD O’Keane’s Team vs. Hannah Gilmore’s Team

Max Scholz’s Team vs. Garret Carden’s Team

Jake Fisher’s Team vs. Michael Park’s Team

Bridget McGreevy’s Team vs. Margaux Miller’s Team

Sarah Larimer’s Team vs. Aubrey Moehlenpah’s Team

*In a controversial twist, 12 of the losing teams made it into the winner’s bracket in order to avoid bye weeks.