Updates from January, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. 11:45 am on 27 January 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    In a condescending article, Fox News reports on a legal decision affecting gamers in prison:

    A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit weighed in Wednesday on a matter of grievous import to the nation’s prisons: Dungeons & Dragons….

    The case brought before the Appeals Court argued that D&D inhibited prison security, because “cooperative games can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof.”

    Sounds like more of the usual paranoia, although I thought we’d gotten past most of that a good twenty years ago. In case there were any doubt, the article goes on to quote one of the geniuses behind this idea:

    Captain Bruce Muraski, who serves as disruptive group coordinator for the Waupun Correctional Institute in Wisconsin, elaborated that “during D&D games, one player is denoted the ‘Dungeon Master.’ The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang.”

    And thus does Captain Muraski reveal that he has never actually seen D&D being played, nor has he taken even a cursory glance at any of the rule books.

    EDIT: Seems to me, if you’re looking for troublemakers, you’d start with someone whose title is “Disruptive Group Coordinator.”

     
  • Hober Short 1:55 pm on 18 January 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Via Radley Balko, who summarizes it well:

    Sixth graders charged with “terroristic threats” for what appears to be a fake bomb map based on a video game.

    I’m reminded of one of Balko’s favorite phrases, “another isolated incident“, which he uses to refer to the chronic problem of serving no-knock warrants on the wrong house. Although it might seem like each time it’s a honest mistake, each incident is part of a greater trend.

    I feel exactly the same way about these isolated incidents of zero tolerance overreaction. As someone who was a victim of this kind of zero tolerance twice during middle school, I know exactly how these kids feel.

    Don’t do anything interesting or unusual. Don’t do anything creative. Go to class, do your homework, and fit in to the machine.

    I can only guess at the chilling effect that zero tolerance policies have had on my generation. I know that it’s taught me to thoroughly mistrust authority and never cooperate. Being helpful and cooperative is what got me brought up on criminal charges. All they had on me was hearsay and my own confession.

     
  • Hober Short 5:43 pm on 10 January 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    The Technician has been the target of a lot of my criticism over the last four years. On this, the first day of my last semester, though, they have outdone themselves. This stuff doesn’t even require comment:

    Item #1: (emphasis mine)

    At the top of the Technician in the newsstands, it says “The student newspaper of North Carolina State University since 1920.” That means we, the editors, the writers, the designers and the photographers, are carrying on an eighty-year-old tradition . . .

    Item #2: “Police: despite thefts, residence halls ‘absolutely’ safe

    Hmm…

    Definition of ABSOLUTE
    free from imperfection : perfect

     
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