Chaos. Madness. Fear. Anticipation. Betrayal. Brutality.
These words could describe a number of things, but for Puterbaugh and Henderson resident halls of Ferris, these words refer to one event that residents look forward to, which leaves them in eager paranoia for sometimes months: Sock wars.
The basic rules of Sock Wars are relatively simple. Each participant is assigned a target in the hall to “kill,” which involves hitting the target with a sock. Once someone kills a target, they are secretly given their new target assignment by the coordinator.
There are safe spots where the target cannot be killed. For example, the target cannot be killed on his or her bed, holding hands with another person, at the Rock or Westview, five minutes before or after class, or at an RSO meeting.
For Puterbaugh Henderson Sock Wars, this is Resident Advisor LaBreonna Stori’s third year coordinating the game. Stori took up the responsibility her first year as an RA after realizing it was a hit with residents. Stori said that the game has always been a fun way to get the dorms active, but commented on the fact that play tactics have changed.
“It’s a continuous program that allows the residents to get out of their rooms and meet others in their halls,” said Stori. “The very first year that I coordinated the program, there was a setup to get a target out. In order to get the target out, residents drove to the Rankin Center, sent in a decoy to distract the resident and the “hunter” ran around from behind and got the guy out.”
She went on to say, “It was intense just to see how dedicated residents were to the game, even fellow RAs who played were getting into it. This year, it’s been full of alliances and double crossing to get kills.”
Without a doubt, this year has been a year of betrayal and side taking amongst players. Sophomore Aaron Aniszko knows this better than most. One minute, Aniszko had the support of his friends to get a kill, while later the very same friends worked for his demise.
“My friend Trevor texted me like normal to tell me about Bible study, and I didn’t really think much of it, but I was watching my surroundings. When I went to open his door, it was locked. All of the sudden, my killer came out of my other friend’s door and hit me with a sock,“ said Aniszko.
He added, “All my friends including Trevor just laughed as she killed me. No one helped me. Trevor told me that as soon as he knew my killer had me, he wanted to help get me out. Yeah, those are my friends.”
Freshman Kara Hess had a similar experience, as secret messages lead to her downfall.
“I was sitting with some people and could have held anyone’s hand. This girl came up out of nowhere as I was in mid conversation and the next thing I know I got hit with a sock. It was a brutal attack. Someone texted her and told her I was down there. I got sold out,” said Hess.
Others are purely on the attack, stalking victims and chasing after them, a method preferred by sophomore Mitch Campbell.
“I chased a kid out of the rock to the edge of the road,” said Campbell, after explaining he stalked his victim in the Rock, waiting for the opportune time to strike.
Others still work solo in alternative and creative ways, such as Junior Patrick Chartrand, a three year Sock Wars participant.
“I tried to get my current person out by pretending to collect pop cans for Colleges Against Cancer, but he didn’t have any pop cans, so my plan kind of backfired,” said Chartrand.
Without a doubt, Sock Wars provides a harmless outlet for the scheming, mysterious side of the human being, though one could almost be scared at how serious some take the game, and how incredible some feel after “killing” a target.
“It’s like this dark person inside of me just becomes satisfied. It’s the satiation of a hunger that I never knew before,” said Chartrand.
Freshman Joshua Newberg agreed that the feeling of a kill is a thrill.
“Killing someone is exhilarating. You have tons running through your head like ‘What if they notice me?’ or ‘What if the person that has me is with them?’ It gets your heart beating,” said Newberg.
However, some view the game with a less dark perspective, and enjoy other features that come with it besides the attack itself.
“I love the awkward romantic gesture of holding hands. Holding a man’s hand to stay alive is completely worth it, without doubt. I love holding hands with my man friends,” said Campbell.
Some don’t care to make that sacrifice for victory.
“I prefer to dodge and run away,” said Sophomore Jason Yerke.
Sock Wars promises to continue to be a fun outlet for students and a chance for residents to get out and around.
“It’s a great way to learn people’s names that you see but may not necessarily know their name,” said Newberg.
Any student that has participated would recommend the game to all halls as a fun activity for residents.
“Every hall should do it,” said junior Kimberly Johnson. n