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RevolutionSF Watercooler : Dungeons and Dragons Corrupts Murderers
© RevolutionSF
February 17, 2010

At the nonexistent RevolutionSF Watercooler, we discuss the most important topics affecting our lives. Namely, a story in the Boston Herald talking smack about Dungeons and Dragons.

The story attempts to establish a link between D&D and a school-rampage killer. It notes a Wisconsin prison banned the game, while quoting no sources. Well, except for an "anonymous source" that calls the game "crap."

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This is absolutely absurd.A horrible example of what passes for journalism. -- Rick Klaw

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A prison ban on D&D? Gods forbid the prisoners learn to use their brains. Of course, I could see someone getting shivved after killing the serial killer's 12th level halfling thief. Isn't that what everyone would play? Assassins and thieves? -- Todd Shearer

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I assume that prisoners play D&D the same reason teenage boys play D&D. To pretend that they're having sex with women. -- Jason Myers

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Dear lord. Sensationalistic elements aside, that's simply a shoddy story. -- Jayme Blaschke

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I hope the editors pay attention to the readers' comments, because they pretty unanimously dump on the article. My favorite goes something like, "This just in: she played hopscotch and jump rope as a child, too -- better ban those!"

Who's their anonymous source calling D&D "crap"? Biff the jock? -- Dave Farnell

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It says "some experts" say "it just a game." Clearly, the story was half-ass written and half-ass proofread. -- Joe Crowe

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From a journalist's perspective, the only -- and I mean ONLY -- time you use anonymous sources in a media story like this is when you're exposing some sort of major corruption/ crime and the source is facing retaliation would their identity become known. And you verify the facts independently.

Calling a game "Crap" fails on all counts. -- Jayme Blaschke

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Not to mention the writer herself calling it an "egghead escape." Technically true -- hey, I'm such an egghead I write and publish the stuff -- but the pejorative connotation is obvious. This article has all the journalistic rigor of a Glenn Beck smear.

My friends in the newspaper industry (hi, Joe!) are faced every day with the challenge of remaining relevant in a world with free content on demand. Publishing amateurish, blog-quality work like this Boston Herald article makes newspaper reporting itself look worthless. The writer isn't alone in deserving to be raked over the coals. -- Shane Ivey

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