Near disaster raises concern over high school seniors' "Water Wars" game

Students say thousands of dollars on the line

By Jason Colthorp - Reporter

NOVI, Mich. - A seemingly harmless game amongst high school seniors is getting a little dangerous after a near accident in a neighborhood.

The game is called "Water Wars" and involves high school seniors blowing off steam before graduation. Water Wars has grown pretty big at schools like Novi High School and it's been going on a few years.

A simple search of the hastag waterwars turns up games all over the country. Kids split into teams of about six, trying to shoot each other with water guns. But there is big money for the winners and some are willing to take deadly chances to get a kill.

"Basically, you just have a water gun or water bottle on you at all times and try to shoot someone from the other team," said Novi senior Jessie Halmaghi. "It's like warfare but with water guns."

Halmaghi's Water Wars team has advanced to the second round of bracket play.

"Right now we're losing 4-3, so I 'm pretty upset about that," Halmaghi said. "But we have until Saturday at midnight to get them out."

Seniors go to great lengths to take out their classmates.

"People have gotten other peoples' work schedules," Halmaghi said.

Pictures are often posted on Twitter of the recently deceased with the time of death.

Is this an instance of kids being kids? Recently, things took a dangerous turn in one neighborhood.

There was a teenage girl in a car and she was chasing a teenage boy. The boy was on foot with a water gun.

A neighbor who saw the incident said the girl didn't see a school bus right in front of her.

"I was terrified," the neighbor said. "She sped by me. I mean, I think I screamed out loud because I saw her going right toward that bus. My 6-year-old is on that bus, along with lots of other kids from this neighborhood."

She stopped just in time. Halmaghi said the Novi students are playing for an $1,800 pot, which she admits might be enticing them to take dangerous risks.

"So if I see someone and I'm chasing them in my car, I'm not going to go 50 down the street," Halmaghi said. "But there are kids in my school that are ... But it's just you as a person has to decide what's worth it: A stupid game or someone's life."

At Novi High School, Local 4 is told there have been conversations between staff and students about making good decisions.

If $1,800 seems like a lot, students said the pot is $4,000 at Northville High.

Police said they ramp up patrols in neighborhoods after school. They take it seriously because they said a boy crashed his car into a tree about five years ago playing the game.

Copyright 2016 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.