The Advocacy Page
"Get your facts first,
and then you can distort them as much as you please."
Mark Twain (1835-1910),
Quoted in: Rudyard Kipling,
From Sea to Sea, Letter 37 (1899).
Characters Get Their Game On
The final episode of the
long-running Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, which aired
on May 20th, featured four recurring characters playing a Dungeons &
Dragons styled role-playing game. In what seemed to be an attempt
to hit two pop culture references with one stone, the players in the scene
were fighting Trogdor the Burninator, a character from the popular Homestar
Runner online cartoons.
of Worlds: an Interactive D&D Movie
An interactive DVD movie
featuring iconic characters from Dungeons & Dragons will see
release this June. Produced by Rhino Home Video and DKP Effects,
the movie will allow the viewer to choose the path of the story, with 20
decision points, four different endings, and over 900 possible story combinations.
The protagonists of the story include Redgar, Lidda, and Mialee, three
familiar faces from the D&D rulebooks.
The DVD is scheduled for
release on June 10th. A special edition, which will include two extra
endings, 15 minutes of additional footage, and a painted PVC figure of
Mialee, will be released later in the fall.
For more information: http://www.dvdtoons.com/news/409
This is a pretty exciting
prospect, and if it does well, we could see other interactive movies set
in the worlds of our favorite RPGs. The press release doesn't mention
it, but it would be interesting to see if this was the first interactive
movie of its kind.
Special thanks to my gaming
buddy MajorBombay for bringing this story to my attention.
Swedish Crime Linked to Gaming
There has been another crime
in Sweden that was briefly linked to role-playing and video games before
that link was dismissed immediately with more facts. The details
are sketchy at the moment, as the only available sources are in Swedish,
but so far, the story seems to go like this:
Two 14 year old boys, dressed
all in black and weilding an axe, attacked a 46 year old man as he walked
his dog in the small town of Katrineholm on May 2nd. Both boys we
under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, and claimed that
the axe was to protect them from a local gang of youths. An investigating
officer made a statement that she found it "highly improbable" that computer
games were somehow responsible for the attack.
Those are the details I have
so far. More to come as I receive it.
Donates Games to the Military
Steve Jackson Games has donated
a 5,000 game care package to United States troops stationed in Iraq and
Kuwait that contained 20 of their most popular titles, including Car Wars,
Chez Greek, X-Bugs, the new Chez Grunt. Here's the word from Steve
We’ve always had a lot of
fans in the armed forces, and we hope that when they get a little downtime
from their mission, this will help them relax and feel a bit closer to
home. These are all board and card games, each one complete in itself;
we're thinking that will be more practical than RPGs.
The games were donated through
the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center (CFSC) in Kuwait. The
CFSC provides oversight for Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)
operations worldwide. Loren Wiseman gets our thanks for rounding up the
information and making the contact.
The person we worked with
is Ms. Sherry Murphy, at
If you're a game publisher . . . or, for that matter, a book publisher
. . . think about sending something to our folks. They'll be there for
a while; they're there for us; show them some support.
Handbook Featured in GE Ad
General Electric has begun
running a television ad entitled "Beauty and Brains" that features a copy
of a Dungeons & Dragons
rulebook. In it, an attractive
woman and a geeky man collide while walking on the sidewalk and instantly
fall in love. Later, both are shown exchanging presents, and his
gift from her is a brand new copy of the Third Edition Player's Handbook.
You can find out more about
the ad, and even view it through streaming video, at the following link:
I'm sure some will see this
as more mockery of the hobby. I would disagree. Sure, it may
reinforce the stereotype that gamers are geeky Bill Gates lookalikes, but
it's not exactly doing it in a negative manner. And the name and
sight recognition of the Player's Handbook is helping to push gaming
a little further into the mainstream and make role-playing a more recognized
and respected hobby.
Beheading Linked to Gaming
discovery by two children in a river in Sweden has triggered a burst of
anti-game rhetoric that was snuffed out almost immediately.
frozen severed head of Marcus Noren was found in the Nissan River in Halmstad,
Sweden on December 30th, by a 10 year old boy and his 13 year old sister.
When Noren was revealed through investigations to be an active participant
in a local Vampire LARP, the Swedish media started into their usual frenzy.
didn't last long, however. On January 2nd, police made a statement
to the press that they held no evidence that role-playing had a connection
to the crime. The next day they arrested two men, aged 46 and 28,
and received a confession from the older man. Both were strangers
to Noren, and had no connection to role-playing whatsoever.
the day of the arrest, Swedish tabloids were still running stories about
"dangerous" role-playing games.
my Swedish contact, Björn Hellqvist, if Swedish anti-game activists
Didi and Björn Sjöstedt had come out with any statements on this
story. Here is what he had to say:
more, including some Swedish articles that have been graciously translated
by Magnus Widqvist (thanks Magnus!) and an excellent report on the state
of affairs in Sweden by Björn (thanks Björn!), follow the links
she did (on her site), but no-one has bothered to reply to them. She is
pretty much a spent force these days. There was a program on Swedish national
public radio, which usually turns a critical eye on media, where the tabloid
press' treatment of the case was criticized in a very sharp way. Among
the people interviewed was a priest, who acted as the bereaved family's
spiritual guide/media contact, and he was very angry with the disrespect
shown Marcus and his family. Other people in the program were highly critical,
too. The representatives from the tabloids (journalists, editors) sounded
very lame, especially when their behaviour was criticized by colleagues
from the local press (which had been far more respectful). Sverok, the
national gaming association, is pursuing the possibilities of legal action
but apart from that, the whole case has pretty much disappeared from the
Boy Arrested for Making a "Hit List"
man in Ukiah, California whose name will not be released because of his
age, has been arrested for making terroristic threats after a friend found
a "hit list" containing the names of seven young people from his area.
police say that the boy originally stated that the list was part of a game
of Dungeons & Dragons, but changed his story later on to say
that the list was "not a joke."
the AP story says, "It was unclear if the boy's
response to police meant he felt the game was not a joke or that the list
was really meant to indicate that harm could come to his friends."
if this was unclear, then why is the title of the story "Ukiah boy arrested
after fantasy game hit list goes too far"? And why does the first
sentence of the story reinforce this statement?
sounds almost as if this is one of those bad situations where a young person
does something meaningless that gets blown way out of proportion.
The police have most likely acted in the best way possible for the protection
of all involved, but it's a pity that the media still has to use
gaming as a crutch to hype a story in this way.
Checks: A hit list with
real names on it would not have anything
to do with D&D, since D&D characters are fictional. Spells
are not cast on "players," but could be cast on those players' characters.
D&D is not a board game.
Game Sparks Two Riots; Several Arrests Made
Checks are a new feature at The Escapist - Nitpicky corrections to the
article in question, supplied for the benefit of those who may not know
enough about role-playing to realize the errors that have been made in
a particular article. If you find some Reality Checks that need writing,
feel free to submit them!
have arrested 65 people in connection with a riot that broke out on Sunday
night after the results of a popular game caused widespread anger and animosity.
Rioters threw bottles and rocks at passing cars, and injured three firemen.
Ten cars and a McDonald's restaurant were set ablaze. Most of the
arrests made were for drunkenness.
reported a similar riot two weeks prior, with much of the same sort of
activity - setting of fires, breaking windows, and throwing rocks at passing
game in question is football. The people are Raiders fans, excited
by the results of the playoffs in the first riot, and angry over the results
of the Super Bowl in the second.
I know I'm probably going to hear it for this. But whether you love
football, hate it, or don't care either way, it has to make you wonder
- why do things such as sports riots always avoid the vigilant gaze of
those who search for the causes of violence in society? Why are professional
sports (excluding wrestling, of course) exempt from blame when the fans
cause this sort of damage? Wouldn't the fact that these riots happen
with a victory as easily as with a defeat be enough to warrant an investigation
into the link between sports and violent behavior?
not trying to make a connection - I'm merely pointing out an inconsistency.
It's just something to think about. Flame me if you will.