TikToker divides internet over 'sinister' game: ‘Hearing this feels illegal’

Justin Chan
·3-min read

A TikToker has turned heads with a story of a “sinister” game that he used to play in high school called Paranoid.

On Jan. 11, user @jpthestoryteller posted a clip where he explains the rules of the game, which he claims his computer science teacher oversaw and only juniors and seniors were allowed to play.

“You would receive a secret invitation, and the computer science teacher would take picture of you,” he says. “He would then post that picture on the wall in his room to let everybody know who was playing that year.”

The rules of Paranoid are simple, @jpthestoryteller says.

“The way the game works is you get a target and you have to get that person in a room alone,” he continues. “And you have to have evidence that you got the person alone in the room, otherwise you can argue that it didn’t happen. So some people would have a witness or you would record it on your phone.”

In other words, similar to the popular video game Among Us, the goal of Paranoid is to trap targets in a room by themselves without revealing to them beforehand that they are being “hunted.” As @jpthestoryteller notes, Paranoid has other rules too. Players, for example, must accomplish their mission within a certain timeframe — usually, they have a week to do so — before they get eliminated too. The game ends when there are just two or three players left.

“I was so excited to play because I knew I was about to go 007 on them,” he says.

The TikToker’s clip has since gone viral, receiving more than 7 million views and an overwhelming amount of mixed reactions.

“DUDE THIS SOUNDS SO FUN,” one user commented.

“SUDDENLY I WANNA PLAY,” another added.

Others, however, were more suspicious of the game.

“Why does this seem sinister tho,” one asked.

“Hearing this feels illegal,” a second wrote.

Some users compared the game to Assassin, in which players similarly try to take their targets out by simply tapping them with a pretend weapon (it can be Nerf gun or a stick) until one survivor is left. Both Assassin and Paranoid are similar in the sense that they both — as the latter game’s name suggests — create paranoia among participants, since anyone can be eliminated at any time.

In a series of follow-up TikToks, @jpthestoryteller says that even teachers and other members of the school staff were in on Paranoid and that, at one point, he purposely caused paranoia throughout the school even though he had long dropped out of the game.

“I want to make it clear I didn’t care about winning,” he commented under one of his videos. “I just wanted to cause psychological terror.”

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