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New App Lets You ‘Assassinate’ People in Real Life (time.com)
37 points by xilei 1205 days ago | hide | past | web | 48 comments | favorite



5 cents per bullet?

What ever happened to just paying $40 for a game and getting to use it forever? (This killed Candy Crush for me. I love the gameplay dynamic and the graphics, but the constant upselling just makes me want me smash my phone into a fine paste and then feed the paste to the game's developers.)


If you are good you can keep getting bullets by killing people and stealing their bullets.

If they charge $40, nobody is going to play the game.

Not a supporter of the app, but it's pretty obvious the pay for bullet business model is the correct decision. It's hardly much at all considering the potential entertainment value for those who play it. Consider how much you would have to pay for paintball.

It's strange, it seems like on every single topic, nobody on HN wants anybody else to make any money at all.


Doesn't every serious video game cost like $60?


I guess it depends on the game. Starcraft 1 "Broodwars" is pretty cheap, but only super-serious gamers play it.


Plenty cost less.

Depends on your definition of "serious".


freemium means no matter how much you pay, you never own it


This appears to be a digital variation of an already famous and commonly played game called Assassin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassin_%28game%29

That said, considering the negative attention received by the latter, which is remarkably benign, I don't know how Dustcloud will fair with authorities.


I much preferred "Get Down, Mr President!". You have a group of people, usually at a party. One person, without saying anything puts their two fingers together and up to their ear, as if they're talking on a hidden microphone like in the movies. Everyone else sees, and copies. The last person is "Mr President", and as you're all secret service, you tackle them to save their life ;)


Yes! And the old creative way was so GREAT - all these new "toys" seem very unnecessary.

This had to be one of the most fun role-playing games we did in my first year of college. Looking over my shoulder going into the Library for Nerf packing friends, then having to scan the dorm room for watches with timers or booby traps. Or the worst - making sure my soda didn't have a blob of Tobasco at the bottom of it at lunch :)

Awesome memories.

Can kids these days still play this type of game in college? Or do they end up getting expelled or arrested or something? I was in college a couple years shy of kids having cell phones, and South Park and Jerry Springer were the world's worst (and best) evils. It was a great time.


There is a similar version that I know a friend plays at a large university. It's Humans vs. Zombies. If you get "bit", you are a zombie and have to wear something that identifies you as such (normally a bandanna tied around an arm). If you're a human, you carry a nerf gun with you. If you hit a zombie with a nerf bullet, they can't bite you for a while (next time you see them, or such).


Yea, this is a popular game. For a while (at least at a big state school), the rules were similar to "Assassin", but have since been changed. At my university, the game is only 'on' during defined sessions, typically after classes have ended. So people aren't sprinting through large groups of students waving fake guns, and campus police know when the game is being played. It works out because the people with Nerf guns are in large groups, and the people hiding and sneaking around don't have guns.


Whoa whoa whoa. You have to pay for the gear, and also for each bullet?


Just like an actual gun, only virtual!


Given the prevalence of gun ownership and concealed carry permits in the US, this is a tragedy waiting to happen.


I have several rifles, including an AR-15 "assault" rifle and an Yugoslavian SKS with a bayonet and primer-fired grenade launcher on it[1]. I also have several handguns which I very often carry concealed.

I have no desire to shoot someone. I don't fantasize about power trip, fatalistic shooting sprees. I'm not afraid of being out in society. I don't pose in the mirror with my guns. I don't buy all the latest accessories I see in Call of Duty. I score way below average on all those psychopathy tests floating around the Internet.

So what's the catch? Nothing. I'm the same as the next dude.

1. Disclosure: I may end up using the grenade launcher some day. They have some great aftermarket grenade cages that happen to be compatible with tennis balls.


The average gun owner isn't necessarily relevant to shooting sprees. Shooting sprees are rare events. Those that commit them are NOT the typical gun owner.

Easy access to gun ownership prima facie facilitates shooting sprees by allowing the outliers easier access to guns.

Pointing this out is not necessarily an argument for gun ownership restrictions. I'm replying more specifically to the idea that your experience has any bearing on the relation between gun ownership laws and shooting sprees.


I think he's not worried about the intentions of people who carry, but rather what their reaction would be when they see someone pull out a gun-shaped object and point it at someone.


Ah. So you're suggesting that all gun owners are like you, and none would take the opportunity to live out their "hero moment"?


"I also have several handguns which I very often carry concealed."

I'm curious - why?

I don't generally carry around stuff that I don't think I'll need, particularly if those things have to go on my person (e.g. in my pockets) rather than in a bag that I can put down when I'm stationary.


It's good to have, "just in case". Carrying in comfort is an art form (aka "hard"). I live in an area where we have one law enforcement office, and law enforcement response times are ~20 minutes for violent crimes (I know this because I'm working on a data research project that produces statistics for local crimes, and it includes report vs response times).


Can you use it? How much training (approx hour count) is needed before you can really use the gun safely (i.e., shoot the bad guy instead of yourself or bystanders (which may be passive, inside their apartments, unaware of what's going on outside)).


That sounds like you're fantasizing about a power trip.


How do you square that with the fact that there are roughly 8 million concealed carry permit holders in America today?

Are they all on power trips?

http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592552.pdf


permit to do something != doing it

However, I agree that's a LOT of people. Even if only half are holding at any given time, it's 1% of the population... Scary.


And yet, you missed his point:

If you heard a gunshot behind you, and you were carrying concealed, how would you react?

The tragedy isn't a shooting spree. The tragedy is a phone game causing someone's accidental death.


You obviously have never heard a gun being fired. No one would confuse a gunshot with a toy making sounds.


I take it you never played Assassins with squirt guns or clothes pins in college?


It looks like an awesome game (though I'm a bit worried about the $0.05/bullet thing), but it's also weird enough that I wouldn't play it in Boston or anywhere else where the populace panics over anything the least bit strange.

I mean, I'd have thought that Lite Brites were innocuous (only 4 weeks until that anniversary), so I can only imagine what one of the terrified might think of a real life assassin game....


Would you run around a city centre in the US shooting at people with something that looked like a gun?

Would you do it if you looked like me? I'm of Indian origin, and there's no fucking way I'd do that, not in the US.


I don't think anybody should do that, irrespective of race, religion or location. It's dangerous, and could end up getting you killed by someone who's carrying a real weapon.


And this is precisely my point, especially in the US where so many people carry guns, presumably to be able to stop people who look like they might be a threat.

But to imply that it wouldn't be even worse for someone who looks like they might be Middle-Eastern would be pretty disingenuous. I hope that's not what you mean.


I think you underestimate the intelligence of the average person that concealed carries.


It seems like the "guns and bullets" aspect of this are a) going to be a problem with the authorities, and b) an unnecessary cost.

Why not just an app that lets you play spy vs spy or zombie vs human based on proximity? Shaking your phone at another player within 3m counts as a kill.


Amusing concept until the cops show up with real guns and the wrong idea.


Yeah, that's what I thought. These days you can't even carry a rice cooker around without people freaking out. Imagine the chaos that would ensure from people carrying around concealable "guns" and "shooting" each other.


Maybe make them look more like Star Trek Phasers palm phaser (TNG,DS9, Voyager) and less like a gun.


Just wearing google-goggles is enough to cause mass spleen-venting, who needs a 'duster'.


My shallow Google search seems to indicate smart phones with IR are not common (though clearly I'm a smart phone ignoramus).

If phones with IR were common, you could just download an Assassin app or any of a variety of other apps for impromptu game playing.

Custom made IR toys clearly are a step backward in any case.



So they basically made a real http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotcha!_(1985_film) app and stuff. I wonder how many developers of the app watched the film when they were kids... I mean, if they're that old :-)


Will wait for new news headlines where some poor chump gets shot by the authorities because of aiming a device at someone else (like James Bond).

As with kids with toy guns in the past. Just google for "officer shot 13 year old with toy gun"


Clever, but it will never take off. These real world type games always tank. Why? Because no one wants to go running off randomly looking for a stranger whilst looking like a complete twat. And making actually pay for this? pfft


If you want to know where they stole the basic idea from, my friend Yutai Liao created http://www.streetwars.net/ years and years ago.


I doubt this idea was ever "stolen". It's such a simple game that I'm sure there have been hundreds of variants ever since the start of the computer revolution.


Can you point me to some evidence to support your claims?


ok, sorry but if you can't "shoot" with the app but require a custom tool, it will never ever reach saturation in any area (outside New York) for it being fun to play against strangers.


It doesn't need saturation if, say, someone buys them for their entire office/fraternity/club as a team-building exercise.


Cops are going to shoot these people.




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