Paranoia hits McLane Hall as residents take part in highlighter war
Freshman mass communication/journalism major Jake Stamps thought he was safe when he entered the passenger door of his roommate Eli Basden’s truck. However, he did not realize that as they were pulling away freshman pre-physical therapy major Brandon Galloway had chased them and jumped over the tailgate into the bed of the truck.
Galloway remained hidden for approximately 10 minutes until Stamps exited the vehicle, at which point witnesses say that Galloway leaped like Superman at Stamps.
“It was one of the most shocking moments of my life. I knew he was trying to get me, but I had no idea he was in the back of the truck,” Stamps said.
Stamps’ first instinct was to flee, but Galloway tore after him and chased him for 40 yards. As Galloway was bearing down on his target, Stamps slipped on the pavement and slid about five yards. Galloway walked up to his target ,marked him with a highlighter and eliminated him.
For the last few weeks, the UMHB campus has turned into a hunting ground for residents of McLane. The game Paranoia pits the residents against each other. The goal of the game is to get as many eliminations as possible without being taken out yourself. Players eliminate each other by using highlighters to mark their targets.
Each player is given a name of a resident to eliminate. Once the player has eliminated his prey, he receives his target’s target.
While not all McLane residents participate in the event, some take it very seriously.
McLane Resident Director Wendy Fitzwater said, “I have seen some guys cover every bit of skin to avoid elimination even if it’s 80 degrees outside. Others have chosen the option of not leaving their rooms unless absolutely necessary,.While that is definitely not the point or purpose, I am surprised each year to find at least one guy choosing that form of protection.”
Players employ many different methods to track and eliminate their quarry. Some will both physically and virtually stalk their prey for days, waiting for the right moment to attack.
Junior Christian ministry major Shawn Cain said, “I would camp … sometimes for an hour and a half. Then I would walk past my target and turn around and take them from behind.”
Another tactic is the direct approach.
Freshman Kevan Mullins hounded freshman Christian ministry major Kirk Vogt for half a week. On several occasions during those days, Mullins chased Vogt across the quad.
“For the last four days, he chased me for three of them, everywhere, from Hardy Hall and back. He’d wait 30 minutes and chase me back to my room; this guy wouldn’t quit,” Vogt said.
Players are safe only inside buildings and in their hallways. Outside anyone is fair game, and residents must be on constant alert. Freshman Christian ministry major Eddie Kahler was hunted by Stamps for the period of about a week.
Kahler said, “He took the game very seriously and was very strategic. I was a little disturbed. Once he marked me, he pretty much gave me a recap of everything I had done in the last week.”
There has been controversy over several kills. Some players made alliances with other players to increase their chances of survival, while others have broken their pacts to increase their chances of winning. A tactic that has frustrated players is eliminating their target while they are hugging their girlfriends.
Freshman chemistry major Darian Evans was eliminated in that manner by Galloway.
Evans said, “I don’t think it is fair. He should have let me stop hugging my girlfriend. I got cheated.”
Galloway responded, “Don’t hate the player; hate the game.”