When campus police got word that a masked student had a gun at his desk during class, armed officers immediately confronted him, confiscated it, and found out others on campus were carrying weapons as well.

But instead of averting a real threat, University of Nebraska authorities found a toy gun that shoots foam darts being used for what amounted to an elaborate game of tag.

Thousands of players, mostly on college campuses, have participated for years in versions of the 24/7 battle to "eliminate" all other players. But some say the game--known widely as "Assassin" or "Assassins"--is ill-suited and possibly dangerous in...

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