Freshmen unwind with Nerf War Battle

Let the Nerf War Fun begin !

The Latest Nerf War Gun Battle…….Late in the evening, the lights snap off in the Solberg Hall basement. The only remaining source of illumination pours from behind the kitchen door standing ajar. Heavy rock music floods the ears of students strategically barricaded behind couch cushions. From the corner of the room comes the cry, ”Three…two…one…GO!”

The Nerf war gun battle  is on.

At 10 p.m. on the evening of the war, Augustana freshmen begin trickling through the doors of the Solberg basement.

The crowd divides into approximately four teams consisting of two to four members each.

Once established, the teams begin constructing intricate forts out of couches, chairs, tables, cushions and pillows to protect themselves from the little orange darts about to be unleashed.

Forts finished, Andy Johnson establishes the rules of the game: one dart to a limb results in loss of that limb for the remainder of the round, having two or more limbs struck by a dart in one round results in death, one dart to the head results in death, the last team with members standing wins.

Kill the lights.

Cue the music.

”Three…two…one…GO!” Johnson shouts.

Nerf War Battle

Collin Block, first-floor resident of Solberg Hall, said the Nerf war  fun originated within his hallway last fall when his roommate Ezra Thompson and neighbor Andy Johnson began battling each other with their Nerf guns.

The fad quickly snowballed throughout the floor, Nerf war participant Matt Garred said. Shortly after the first battle between Thompson and Johnson, Block invested in his first gun, a six shooter. Garred and his twin brother J.T. Garred soon followed suit.

Matt Garred said he indulges in the Nerf war simply because ”they’re fun.”

He said the illusion of danger he associates with the wars adds to their entertainment. ”I like the fact that it has to do with weaponry but nobody gets seriously injured,” Garred said.

However, injuries cannot be entirely dismissed, as the occasional dart to the eye is not unheard of.

The men are constantly looking for ways to improve their skills.

Block said he and Thompson have devoted time to perfecting their skills, specifically aim, within the confines of their dorm room. This appears to have paid off for Thompson, Matt Garred said, as ”he can hit any target within sight.”

The men have also focused on making upgrades to their weaponry.

One of the latest additions to Matt Garred’s collection is the Vulcan Nerf gun. The gun comes with an ammunition belt that allows for extended periods of rapid fire without reloading. Garred said the group is continuously looking for ways to improve their weaponry.

”It’s been a constant arms race,” he said.

After establishing a strong collection of guns, the group decided to make a video titled ”Solberg NERF War,” which they posted on YouTube to show people what the Nerf  War guns are all about.Though the war trend started within the first floor boys wing, it did not stay contained there for long.

It’s also quite common to see the group scrambling around the third floor of Solberg, scrimmaging with some of the female residents.

Third-floor resident Erin Brustuen said she initially got involved by having been a witness to the first floor wars. She has been witness to many surprise attacks on first floor, which Matt Garred said are not uncommon.

”You have no idea when you’re coming back from class whether someone will ambush you,” Garred said. ”It was nothing short of ordinary to be greeted by a flaming orange dart zipping from the direction of Thompson’s room while entering the hallway first semester.”

After witnessing such an intense activity, Brustuen said she set out to buy her own gun immediately. She described joining in as ”just a matter of self defense”.

With final exams approaching quickly, Matt Garred said that random raids within the hallways have been scarce lately.

Block said jokingly, ”All the homework gets in the way of the fun of the college experience.”

In addition to being a stress reliever, Garred said the Nerf war guns also connect him with friends during the frenzy of finals preparation and homework.

”We’re all just one big, happy, Nerf-shooting family,” Garred said.

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