Eliminate Game at Harvard-Westlake

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Eliminate Game at Harvard-Westlake

On April 19, at 8 a.m. sharp, for the first time in Harvard Westlake (HW) Middle School history, Eliminate began. For the first hour and a half, there was relative peace. Until Break. Then the slaughter began. By the end of the first day, over a hundred young, aspiring HW students, hoping to make the world a better place, were slaughtered where they stood, with some being stabbed in the back just moments after taking one of their fellow students in-game lives.

Eliminate is a game much like Assassin at the HW Upper School. The premise is anyone interested receives a clothespin and a target. Each student places their clothespin on their right arm, between their shoulder and their elbow and is not allowed to cover it. The students then have to go and take their target’s clothespin, all the while keeping their hunter from taking theirs. The last one standing wins the game, a plaque and a $50 Amazon Gift Card. 

There have been a few bumps, with a few eliminations being disputed, some students being removed and then reinstated tens of times, the faculty at large hating it,and many acts of violence and rulebreaking being reported. This violence got to such a point that ninth-grade dean Betsy Ilg had to intervene via email. 

Collateral damage should not be a thing and it could get the game shut down. No students should be sustaining any sort of injury because of the game. We are not allowed to physically assault anyone on campus, for any reason and this game is no exception,” Ilg said.

With the winner being crowned Arya Fattahi ’25, Spectrum decided to interview the creator, Michael Barr ’25 on his inspiration and motivation to bring this extremely active game to the ninth grade. Barr created the eliminate website, a tracker that anyone in the grade can sign into, to check their current target, or see the leaderboard, a list comprised of every participant, with their current status and eliminations. 

As the origin story of any famous endeavor, Eliminate began with an idea and conversation. 

“Daisy Pritzker ’25 approached me and asked if I would like to help run a middle school version of Assassins,” Barr said. “I said yes.”

It was as simple as that. From there, Barr went through the process of brainstorming, eventually coming up with the idea of a website. He coded it himself, choosing the layout and features. This process took hours, possibly even days, as many students saw him working on the bubble graphics that would appear in the background of the final product, for long periods of time. 

“I wanted to do something with 3D graphics. This website had to be compatible with mobile, hence the vertical layout. I wanted to make it more of an experience than a website,” Michael said.

Of course, this game was a massive success, with over 204 participants. It would be an understatement to say that this game hasn’t left students wanting more. When asked about a possible second game, or a continuation of the product through other means, Barr smiled. 

“There was and is going to be problems with physical attributes to obtain victory in the game, but all being said and done, it went well,” Barr said. “I would love to host another game for our grade, whether it be at the middle school or upper school. Who knows what will happen in the future?”