'Nerf Wars' heat up at high schools, and police warn about being safe

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Officials in Duluth aren't trying to be the "fun police," but they are worried about safety as high school students grab their Nerf guns to play a popular game.

The game itself is pretty harmless. In "Nerf Wars" (sometimes called "Assassins"), teams of students shoot foam darts from toy guns to "kill" opponents on other teams in an effort to win prize money, Northland's NewsCenter reports.

But officials say it becomes dangerous when students hop into vehicles and forget to buckle up, or don't obey traffic laws in an effort to win the game, Hermantown police warned on its Facebook page.

"Some kids are unbelted in vehicles because they're focused on the game; they're not focused on having a seatbelt on," Duluth police officer Ron Tinsley told the Duluth News Tribune. "We're concerned for their safety, of course. We're concerned for other motorists as well as for pedestrians."

"We don't want to be seen as the fun police; however, we want people to actually use good judgment when it comes to driving," Tinsley told WDIO.

So far, no accidents have been reported as a result of Nerf Wars, but officials have found instances of reckless driving and damage to property, reports note.

The game became popular last spring, with more than 1,000 students in the area participating, the Duluth News Tribune says, and it has started to pop up again in the last few weeks.

Some of the prizes are worth more than $1,500, FOX 21 says.

This year, students at several Duluth-area schools are playing and there are at least three Twitter accounts – Duluth East, Hermantown and Cloquet-Esko – dedicated to the game.

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