Cypher: The Class of 2022’s senior game

The objective Cypher is to eliminate other players and be the last person standing after a series of challenges.

Photo used with permission of Arianna Huang

The objective Cypher is to eliminate other players and be the last person standing after a series of challenges.

Chelsea Lee, Design Editor

Throughout March, underclassmen and teachers may have wondered why many seniors were covering their masks with hands and having wardrobe malfunctions. This odd behavior was all because of the senior game, Cypher. Following yearly tradition, which took a two-year break due to online learning, the Class of 2022 spent a month of their final semester at Lynbrook playing Cypher, with two free prom tickets worth $300 at stake and some final lasting memories to make.

The objective of the game was to eliminate other players and be the last standing after a series of challenges that spanned four weeks. Prior to the game, seniors received bingo cards at the Winter Rally in January. Seventeen seniors blacked out their cards and were immune to elimination during the first week of the game. Players were notified of game rules by email and through the Instagram account dedicated to the game, @22cypher.

Players in the first challenge wrote words on their mask and eliminated others with similar words by taking photos of them. By the end of the first week, 71 of 192 players were eliminated and became ghosts.

“It’s really interesting seeing how different people approach it,” senior Albert Tam said. “Some people are super competitive and in it to win it. Then, there are some people who are a lot more laidback.”

The next week’s challenge took place from Tuesday, March 15, to Friday, March 18, with survivors fulfilling accumulating outfit requirements. Players wore one closed-toe and one open-toed shoe on Tuesday. On Wednesday, participants had to wear shorts over pants, and Thursday saw players wearing socks as mittens. On Friday, players played dodgeball against Lynbrook staff and ghosts. The dodgeball games left 25 players remaining at the end of week two.

Some players utilized certain rules to their advantage. One rule allowed eliminations to take place outside of school, and senior Demir Genc looked for senior Anya Sikri outside her home before school to catch her without the day’s requirements. Coincidentally, Sikri was sick and never emerged, preventing Genc from eliminating her. The next morning, Sikri did the same and stood on the lookout for him outside his home, but fortunately for Genc, he spotted Sikri’s car across the street and understood it was someone waiting to eliminate him. He quickly retreated and pulled socks over his hands to adhere to the day’s requirements.

“I went back inside because I didn’t have the socks over my hands, so I put the socks back on and just waved to her,” Genc said. “She was pretty upset about that.”

During week three, players went on a scavenger hunt around campus based on clues posted on @22cypher’s Instagram. The first eight players to find one of three QR codes could move onto the next week. The 24 remaining players then battled each other in teams of three during games of tug of war on Tuesday. The remaining players competed in a final game of musical chairs on Thursday, narrowing the field to three people.

In the final week, seniors Saumitr Dikhit, Rahul Idgunji and Srikar Nimmagadda were the final people to remain and attempted dares to determine the winner.

Although senior games have been unique to each graduating class, seniors used play the same game each year — Spoons. In Spoons, players would hold spoons throughout the day and tag others when they were not holding their spoons to eliminate them. After an injury in 2018, the senior game has been adjusted each year to consist of new challenges and games that prioritize safety.

The Class of 2022 officers spent months coordinating the new senior game. Their brainstorming started with the popular South Korean TV show, Squid Game, borrowing the concept of elimination when players fail to complete games successfully. They also discussed the party game, Assassin, in which the winner is the last person standing. The officers ultimately combined both inspirations to create Cypher. When Zhu and senior Class Secretary Arianna Huang were considering a Valorant tournament as a potential challenge, the name of the Valorant character Cypher inspired the senior game’s title. Cypher came to represent the decoding aspect of the first week’s challenges as the class officers continued to flesh out the game’s challenges in the following weeks.

Since most seniors were done with college applications, March was a practical time for the officers to hold the senior game, with the intention of helping seniors de-stress, relax and have fun together before they graduate.

“I hope that with all this work we put in, hopefully, the seniors can walk away with some good memories,” senior class Vice President Michelle Zhu said. “Even if, right now, it seems pretty intense, I think in the future looking back on it, they’ll be nostalgic and enjoy the time they had as seniors.”