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Washington School Bans Halo 2 Tournament

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-terribly-surprising dept.

XBox (Games) 126

Pluvius writes "A couple of high-school students in the Washington city of Puyallup wanted to raise money for the tsunami disaster in South Asia, and figured that the best way to do so was to hold a tournament using Bungie's hit XBox title Halo 2. Their school district disagreed, citing an anti-violence policy. Even though all of the parents of the children who would've taken part in the tournament signed waivers acknowledging the game's violence, Puyallup School District felt that due to school shootings across the country, 'anything we do that even looks like we're endorsing violence is not appropriate.'"

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A mod, please? (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455138)

Is there a mod for this that changes the weapons systems to Nerf guns?

Re:A mod, please? (1)

Dr.Opveter (806649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455179)

yeah, a shooter with sponge bullets i hope they come up with a good alternative to raise the money..

Sponge Shooter (2, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456492)

"yeah, a shooter with sponge bullets i hope they come up"

Even if they don't raise any money, this is sure to reduce the teen pregnancy rate at the school.

Re:A mod, please? (1)

Omni Magnus (645067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455183)

If they used a mod for Halo 2 (XBOX only), then the school would be accused of endorsing piracy because it would have to be run on a modded XBOX.

Re:A mod, please? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455280)

Well, there is a game called Nerf Arena Blast that was derived from Unreal Tournament (1999 version) but I don't think that would've been popular (though the demo was somewhat nice). Or perhaps Laser Arena (Quake-derivative) or Southpark: the Game (c'mon, cows aren't lethal weapons, are they?)?

Re:A mod, please? (1)

Heftklammerdosierer! (846009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455542)

You forgot Goldeneye with the paintball cheat.

Re:A mod, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11455317)

If they're such caring people, why don't they just donate the money. Do you have to get some videogame play-time out of it to be convinced to do a good thing?

I mean, talk about a no-fucking-brainer . . . uh . . . duh?

Re:A mod, please? (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456788)

Because the people interviewed were the ORGANIZERS.

The money is coming from the PARTICIPANTS.

The participants make no claim (in the article) to giving a crap about the tsunami victims. They only want to play Halo 2.

The organizers are the ones who are doing it because they (supposedly) care.

Re:A mod, please? (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459260)

You laugh, but there was an Unreal Tournament-based Nerf game (Nerf Arenablast! if I remember correctly) a few years ago that was loads of fun.

Had a great mode where you had to collect balls worth a certain amount of points and shoot them through a target using a special gun. If you got fragged, your balls would scatter for the other folks to pick up.

*sigh* (3, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455196)

Yes, because each and every person out there would make the obvious cognitive leap that raising charity money via tournaments of a futuristic game based on fragging aliens equates to condoning kids bringing guns to school and shooting their classmates, right? /sarcasm

This is asinine. Does the school have a football team? A wrestling team? Or do those not count as violent?

RTFA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11455237)

The school *did* have a football team, but they deemed it to violent and closed it down. They now play a form of "peaceball" where opponents hand each other presents, then gently insist the other team is better than their own, and has won.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11456464)

"...then gently insist the other team is better than their own, and has won"

Of course, at the end of the game, *both* teams win, so nobody's feelings get hurt, and everyone's self-esteem gets a boost.

Re:RTFA (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457538)

Yup, everyone knows footba-Er, Peaceball players need more self-esteem... And don't even get me started on those self-conscious wrestlers...

Re:*sigh* (3, Insightful)

nes11 (767888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455352)

It only takes one person, not "each and every person." The fact is, most of the parents are probably paying enough attention to their kids for it not to be a problem, but it only takes that one.

This is a wise move for the school. If something bad happened, they would be held responsible by the public & the media whether parent's signed permission slips or not.

Re:*sigh* (1, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455684)

This is a wise move for the school. If something bad happened, they would be held responsible by the public & the media whether parent's signed permission slips or not.


Really? How is it different from taking field trips to the zoo, or funding violent sports?

Parents need to sign wavers for their kids to play football; you don't see the school district being sued every time some kid breaks a bone. You don't see the school being sued over teen pregnancy because they teach anatomy or sex ed.

There's no media frenzy over video games; there's just a select group of idiots like Lieberman and Buchanon that make a big stink over it.

Re:*sigh* (2, Insightful)

nes11 (767888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455960)

"How is it different from taking field trips to the zoo, or funding violent sports?"

Kids break bones
Kids shoot others.

Can you really not see the difference here? Are you just completely retarded? Tell me something, when was the last time the media spent a full week covering a broken bone or teen pregnancy? Compare that to the uproar over columbine and similar incidents. There is a HUGE difference.

you said:
"There's no media frenzy over video games; there's just a select group of idiots like Lieberman and Buchanon that make a big stink over it."

I never said there was, I said, IF something happened like some random kid going on a rampage, there would be a media stink.

lol, I had assumed there was some intelligence in /. that spilled over to the games section. guess i was wrong. It's hilarious that mine was modded troll & yours was interesting. The lack of intelligence here is frightening.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457092)


Kids break bones
Kids shoot others.

I find it interesting that you imply that kids shooting each other after playing computer games is as natural as kids playing sports get hurt. Despite a lot of effort there is still no evidence than can demonstrate a causal relationship between playing violent video games and violent behaviour.

Now media doesn't care about this and apparently you think it's a good idea to avoid this confrontation as it "looks bad" instead of trying to do the right thing.

I'm flattered that you don't believe that everyone here are too busy attempting to suck up to the "all knowing media" to lose their capacity to think for themselves.

Re:*sigh* (1)

nes11 (767888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458779)

Maybe you should read the posts before you reply.

I made the comments "If something bad happened" and "it only takes one person".

The guy replying to me ignorantly translated that to comparing every kid playing video games with playing football or getting pregnant. I made no such direct correlation or suggested it was "natural". The fact of the matter is that occasionally, yes rarely, it does happen and as I pointed out, it only takes one person freakin out to cause alot of problems.

My comparison of "Kids break bones, Kids shoot others" was only to point out how rediculous the idea is of comparing the two.

I completely agree with you that the media is at fault and completely wrong in this issue, but the fact is, the school is wise for making this decision.

Re:*sigh* (1)

wolfmanXUG (747138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456584)

Doesn't matter anyway since the school will be held responcible anyway no matter what they do. People do not want to take responcibility for their actions.

Re:*sigh* (1)

GameNutz (556033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456883)

100% AGREE with you. I find the "organized" sports to be violent and are non-inclusive based on physical stature. At least in games, everyone can start on equal footing and actually forces teamwork. If you have parental concent and the players/spectators are over 17 years of age as specificed by the ESRB rating on the packaging, what's the problem? This also could have been the chance for a public institution to stand up and demonstrate that just because people engage in violent games does not mean that it will carry over into their lives. This is an unfortunate condition of the schools buckling to pressure from a largely uninformed news media, scared parents that have transferred much of the responsibility of raising their childeren to be prodective and decent members of society to public institutions and another slap for video games.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459148)

I put one last line at the end of my submission, but Zonk took it out:

"One wonders if intermural football has been banned in these schools using the same logic."

You're definitely not the only one who smells hypocrisy here. I think that the supposed difference is that football is "cool" and "popular" and "lucrative for the schools" and Halo 2 isn't.

Rob (Guess which of those three is most important)

We suck. (3, Funny)

keiferb (267153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455217)

Are they really expecting the kids to go home, make a needle gun, and bring it in to school? All the Halo games teach is that you should kill aliens. It says nothing about school teachers or other students.

Here's a spoon, America. Let's dig our heads out of our asses.

Re:We suck. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455308)

I don't think this is like America's Army where the opponents are always displayed as evildoers. A Halo 2 tournament would obviously involve deathmatches and other competitive gametypes.

Re:We suck. (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455411)

try to play it in coop in a lan setting for a weekend.. gets real old real fast.

man vs. man.

anyways.. what's the sad part is that they're disallowing it because they think that somebody might say to them later that they're endorsing violence.. they KNOW that it should be 100% OK - but are too afraid to let it happen.

bunch of sissies.

Re:We suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11461135)

A needle gun, you say? What an idea!!! And to think my mom wouldn't let me play HALO because it's too violent. Who'd have thought I'd get those kinds of ideas reading slashdot posts!

What a non-story (3, Insightful)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455225)

What a non-story (not slashdot but the article). The students want it, the parents signed off on it. So what if the school doesn't want it? Then don't involve the school. I'm sure there's plenty of other locations where one could hold the tournament. Maybe a local community center?

Re:What a non-story (0, Flamebait)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455657)

Sorry if some of us are interested in personal freedoms around here besides just tech stuff...

Re:What a non-story (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455785)

Personal freedom doesn't come into play where children and/or schools are involved. There are historical exceptions and legal precedents establishing this fact. Just thought it was worth pointing out before people get all high-and-might on the white horse about bringing "free speech" and other irrelevant arguments into play.

Re:What a non-story (1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456659)

You have a point but what worth is a school that refuses video games such as HL2 deeming them violent, where the actual goal is to raise funds?

What does that teaches to the kids? Better be censored and/or politically correct rather than be generous and donate?

If it the "stellar" coming of Bush that produces such nonsense, I suggest you jump out the mothership and land in Canada. [cic.gc.ca]

It is not because you are not paranoid that Aliens are not out to get you.

Duh. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11455238)

Remember when the little shits posted about this before? We all told them this would happen.

Anyway, the trendy little suckups should get off their asses and do something to really help out the world. "Look at me, I'm helping tsunami victims by playing video games! I roxor!".

And for fucks sake, the tsunami relief has enough god damn money already. How many fucking billions of dollars do they need on top of the billions that have been promised already? And just how much is $500 from some stupid LAN going to help?

Why don't you do something more productive as well as raising money for some cause in your own fucking home town? Or do you only care about the tsunami because that's today's cause dejour and you want to be uber leet and part of the in crowd like all the fucking pretentious fucks out there?

Re:Duh. (1)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455340)

And just how much is $500 from some stupid LAN going to help?

Keep going down.

"$380 we were thinking was going to go straight into the Red Cross Tsunami fund," Alston said.
Oh and don't you dare bring up the other hot spots where genocide and regular slaughter are going on. That's just man against man, whereas the Tsunami represents God against man, and we're going to KICK gOD'S ASS!!!111 WTF!!!!11

Re:Duh. (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455775)

the Tsunami represents God against man, and we're going to KICK gOD'S ASS!!!111 WTF!!!!11

Could it be...new sig!

Seriously, I'm not shocked that Puyallup would cancel such a thing. Schools and guns just don't go together, no matter how innocent the intention. The act of utter insanity and stupidity in Columbine only reinforced that.

Still, I agree here. The Red Cross needs every dollar it can find, and something popular like Halo 2--complete with violence release form--would have done that. Governments tend to pledge aircraft-carrier loads of money and not give it when it's needed.

Re:Duh. (1)

maunleon (172815) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456247)

$500 will help a lot more than sitting around whining on slashdot about something you don't agree with. What are you doing to help?

Go help. Go volunteer, go write a check, go do something with your life. Putting down people who are trying to help, helps nobody.

It may be "man against god" but unlike many other genocides going on in the world, this one is not due to politics or religion. There is no bad guy and no good guy.

Re:Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11459228)

"$380 we were thinking was going to go straight into the Red Cross Tsunami fund," Alston said.

Charitable organizations such as the Red Cross often end up with funds that they are unable to make use of because those funds are directed towards a specific relief effort. If funds are donated specifically for the Tsunami disaster relief, then those funds may not be redirected to other efforts in the event that they have received a surplus of donations for that specific crisis. The result is that millions of dollars sit in accounts not being used.

I suggest that the donation be made, but not directed towards a specific relief effort, so that it can be used elsewhere if the Tsunami disaster has been dealt with.

So what? (4, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455302)

School's policy, school's decision.

Just have the fundraiser outside of school property.

Re:So what? (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459858)

Parents' tax dollars, parents' decision, I didn't RTFA(big surprise) but I didn't think this was a private school. This is a result of CYOA so some school board member can run for higher office without looking like they support kids bring guns to school.

Re:So what? (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460105)

>Parents' tax dollars, parents' decision

But then, using this idea, the parents are the ones who did decide to have a "no violence" policy before this issue.

The school was correct in what they were doing. I realize that a few parents did permit the event, but what about the majority of parents?

Re:So what? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460030)

Bingo. And then write to local newspapers and get plenty of press about it, and don't forget to add that despite the school trying to prevent you from raising money, you're doing it anyway.

*Yawn* (0, Troll)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455348)

Booooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiinggggg ggggg!

No seriously, how is this news? This happens all the time, like when my school tried to fundraise for our robotics team. That certainly didn't make slashdot.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

nes11 (767888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455385)

"That certainly didn't make slashdot."

maybe you should've posted it.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455496)

Maybe, but I didn't because:

  1. It is fully within the school's administration's right to deny us access to the resources
  2. It is a fully understandable policy to have on violent gaming at school

Re:*Yawn* (2, Insightful)

nes11 (767888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455996)

I agree completely. just trying to add some humor. Want something really funny? check out my other post on this topic. I get modded troll for basically saying what you just said & another guy gets +4 insightful for bashing me.

lol, this is a sad reflection on /. as a whole.

If they refuse to endorse viloence.... (5, Insightful)

Landak (798221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455351)

If they refuse to endorse violence in any way, shape, or form; then bye bye Shakespeare, Dickens, Tolstoy (?), Nursery Rhymes; etc, as well as almost all forms of organised sport; modern art, some forms of modern music, etc; etc.

It's a video game. Just as Romeo and Juliet is a book. Where one has you not-so-elegantly killing your opponents; the other has a very elegant description of someone killing his opponents. Where you conspire with your friends to best your enemies in Halo; the two houses "teams" conspire to best each other in Romeo and Juliet.

Humanity is violent; its' roots are violence, and if you cannot control your own desire for violence then *you* probably *will* do something stupid at some point in your life- which has nothing to do whatsoever with Halo 2; Half-life 2; Doom 3.....

Don't blame the school (2, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456305)


Look, think about it from the school's perspective. Lawyers will try to find even the most obscure link between a shooting and the video games the shooter may have played. If the school *did* allow this tournament to happen, you just know that if there was a shooting five years down the line that the school district would be the first in line to be sued.

Don't blame the school, blame the sue-happy culture and the negative stigma of videogames for forcing their hand.

Re:If they refuse to endorse viloence.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11457389)

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. It demonstrates how the violence between the two houses leads to ruin and unhappiness for all.

Halo 2 is a video game. It rewards people for actively commiting acts of virtual violence.

See the difference?

The books you've listed contain violence, but they don't endorse it - very much the opposite. Halo 2, on the other hand, is an endorsement for commiting violent acts, albiet of the virtual variety.

Should... (2, Funny)

DrJonesAC2 (652108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455406)

...have stuck with MonkeyBall

Re:Should... (2, Funny)

ayersrj (701333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455585)

I for one will not condone a game that encourages the capture and exploitation of animals from temperate climates for your enjoyment. I refuse to hold a tournament in my school.

Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11455448)

The school can't force them to not do this. It sounds more like they weren't willing to host the event. The kids can do their Halo 2 tournament elsewhere if they like, can't they?

Sucks, but... (2, Insightful)

eviltypeguy (521224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455486)

I can't really blame them. All it would take is some bleeding-heart political activist and suddenly it would look like the school is endorsing violent activities. The school is protecting themselves from possible litigation and some possible embarassment. As much as it sucks, it's the safer decision they've taken.

Re:Sucks, but... (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455897)

But does the school have a football team?

We had a FPS tournament way back in high school (before the whole school shooting thing) and wow, I considered bringing a rocket launcher for a whole 2 seconds before realizing i didn't have access to heavy artillery.

Maybe the parents should have to sign a waiver if they have a gun in the house.

I, _________ as a responsible parent with possession of (a) firearm(s), promise to teach my child/children that firearms are not to be used on school property and are not the first solution to all of your problems. I also promise to control access to the firearm(s) and ammunition.

The students should sign this one:

I, __________, as a video game playing student, know that video games have nothing to do with real life. I acknowledge that life has no reset button, hacks, mods, or other life-restoring properties, and that I am not easily influenced by images I see in video games, tv, or movies.

I waive my right to blame video games as my excuse for violence and will choose a more appropriate excuse such as my sheer stupidity, access to a weapon, parents, or myself.

Re:Sucks, but... (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11461089)

If the kid is a minor, will anything he signs stand up in court?

In my humble opinion, a lot of violence comes from the fact that we tend to put to much weight to fictitional imagery (me fail english... ;-)

Lets expose kids (in a safe way) to the consequences of real world violence. Take them to an ER, or a community center for victims. Let them volunteer some of their free time helping others.

It's a parent's work to protect their children, but excesive sheltering is a disservice to them and perhaps to those who have to relate to them.

Whenever a kid screws up big time, I blame the parents.

Safer means Cowardly (1)

jimbro2k (800351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457737)

Not safer, more cowardly. Too chicken-hearted to stand up to the ignorant(school administrators) and the greedy (lawyers). Schools are now teaching kids to be cowards. How long can a nation survive the consequences of that?

He's on the line (2, Insightful)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455538)

I know this isn't going to be the most popular opinion, but I sort of feel sorry for the school district here. I mean, imagine if they did allow this and a parent complained, and you know one would. In a society that values censorship over responsibility, these people just did what they needed to to keep their jobs. As asinine as it seems, the district people were taking the safest route for all involved, politically. One more thing- imagine that a week later some nutball came to school and started shooting. You just know Halo 2 would have been blamed, whether the stupid kid went to the touroment or not. I guess if something were to happen, it's better that it not easily be tied to a form of media that a lot of people are trying very hard to censor.

Re:He's on the line (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455727)

Mr. Teacher, I really don't want MY kid hearing about that World War II thing. Its very violent and I don't want him to get any crazy ideas like marching across Europe.

Now if you don't mind, i'll let little Johnny get back to his TV set.

Re:He's on the line (3, Insightful)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455737)

But that's just the thing... It's all politics. Politics do not belong in our schools. We Americans need to get over ourselves and start being real people again, forget all the politically correct bullshit. Seriously... This stuff is ruining our country. Secondly, if every single parent signed a waiver, then the school has no responcibilites anyway. Also you have to think about the fact that Halo is rated M (17+), how many of those kids are old enough to play the game without their parents consent anyway? Halo 2 is not really meant for children in the first place. But, since the parents agreed, then it's up to them, not the school now.

Re:He's on the line (1)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455839)

I totally agree with you. However, the way things should be are very rarely the way things are.

Re:He's on the line (1)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458193)

"Also you have to think about the fact that Halo is rated M (17+), how many of those kids are old enough to play the game without their parents consent anyway?"

All of them are old enough. A game rating says nothing about who is *allowed* to play.

"Halo 2 is not really meant for children in the first place."

Ridiculous. Halo/Halo2 are written and intended for exactly those age groups in high school. The fact that it has an M-whatever rating is solely because the manufacturers and stores need to cover *their* butts against stupid lawsuits and attitudes.

A.

A Call from the ACLU May Fix This (4, Interesting)

Doug Dante (22218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455932)

While getting a bad rap for taking on the boy scouts, the ACLU is probably the most useful defender of students' rights in America (defending students rights to wear black arm bands, publish independent student papers, etc).

IIRC, it's their legal position that student organizations all have an equal right to school facilities (yup even the Boy Scouts - just no 'special rights').

You may want to contact them via their students' rights web site at ACLU student rights [aclu.org]

Re:A Call from the ACLU May Fix This (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456147)

I don't know, the issue deals (in a remote and indirect way) with firearms, the ACLU might want nothing to do with it. They are quite selective about the aspects of the bill of rights they support.

Finkployd

Re:A Call from the ACLU May Fix This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11456963)

Yes, a very remote and indirect way.

Specifically, supporting this would not run afoul of their stated reasons [aclu.org] for not supporting the broad interpretation of the right to bear arms. It is a pure speech issue.

You just (barely) crossed the line from debate to FUD.

Re:A Call from the ACLU May Fix This (1)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456496)

It's funny, but I don't remember anything about an inalienable right to run Halo 2 tournaments at school. I mean, video games are chock full of amazing educational lessons (aliens bad, guns good), but I can find many reasons to not let people play games in school. Even if it's not a question of violence. Just host the tournament somwhere else. I'm close to Puyallup: host it at my house.

Re:A Call from the ACLU May Fix This (2, Interesting)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457446)

The real answer to this is in the last sentence of the article. The school system says they'll support the fundraiser if a less violent video game is played. The decision doesn't deny any students access, it regulates what they can do in the building. The normal school day is full of this kind of regulation.

Re:A Call from the ACLU May Fix This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11457817)

While getting a bad rap for taking on the boy scouts, the ACLU

The boy scouts won the court case by saying discrimination against gays was fundamental to being a boy scout. Thankfully someone took them on. It's time to end all public funding for the scouts.

Fuck You, Troll (0, Troll)

M1rth (790840) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459994)

The Boy Scouts have done more good for the world, through millions of boys given a better life and taught to be good citizens both of their nations and world, than the American Criminal Liberties Union ever has.

The fact that someone attacked them for sticking by a moral position is just disgusting.

In Conclusion,
Fuck You.

Ban everything (1)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455937)

I had to read the Red Badge of Courage in 9th grade. However, I didn't feel the need to shoot southerners immediatly after finishing the book.

Rated M for Mature (4, Insightful)

CoreyGH (246060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456023)

Halo 2 has an ESRB rating of M (17+). Most of the kids in highschool do not fit into that category. If they wanted to have a Mario Party tournament then I would understand people being upset over it being canceled but we have to face facts. Halo 2 is not for kids.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456692)

An M rating shouldn't be the concern of the school if the parents don't object. There's no science behind these letters, beyond anthropology/sociology. They're less significant, I'd say, than the 'For ages 7-10' one find on non-computerised game boxes.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

twosmokes (704364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458729)

An M rating shouldn't be the concern of the school if the parents don't object.

Yes it should. Little Timmy's parents may sign off on letting him watch porno, but that still doesn't mean that it's appropriate for school.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460805)

Why is it any less appropriate than having a senior prom? Why is one within the mission of school and the other not? Neither seems particularly educational.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

CoreyGH (246060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458930)

There's no science behind these letters, beyond anthropology/sociology.

That may be true, however that doesn't change the fact that it's the only ratings system we have. When we have arguments on why these types of games shouldn't be banned from store shelves everyone always shouts "But look, we have a RATING system!" We can't now call that system useless in this situation. You can't have it both ways.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460743)

No, you're right, of course, that it's not useless. But the usefulness isn't that it takes away parents' choice as to whether their child should play the game. It gives parents a guideline--information--so they can then make a relatively informed decision that's right for their child. If these parents decide to let their kids play the games, fine.

Providing information to parents is the good. Making the decisions for the parents is not (in the case of violent games).

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

CoreyGH (246060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11461415)

No one in the above situation is taking away the parents' choice as to whether their child can play the game. They are welcome to purchase it and play it at home. The school district has only decided not to sanction entertainment on school grounds that involves a product that is not intended for kids under 17. There is nothing wrong with that.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456885)

Doesn't matter if it's Mario Party or Manhunt. Parents of all kids said they recognize the violence in this game and allow their children to participate. Ratings are only there to give parents an idea of what is in the game, nothing more. Case closed.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

CoreyGH (246060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458840)

If the school district is supporting the fund raiser then it isn't the parents' call. The school district is responsable for kids, Halo 2 is not for kids so district pulls its support for the event. If they parents and kids want to hold their own tournament that isn't supported by the district then they are welcome to.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460656)

No, parents are responsable for kids. The school district is only liable if it did something stupid like not require waivers from all 16- year olds who wanted to join-in/spectate. The school grounds are public property. While not in use for the school, they should be available for any public activity. And yes, this probably means having at least a few school personnel as supervisors to make sure there isn't damaged public property. I mean, why are the parents/tax payers paying money for if not to use the equipment/property?

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

CoreyGH (246060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11461479)

Yes, tax payers pay for school equipment and property. However, most tax payers are not teachers. The tax payers also pay teachers/school administrators to decide what to do with that property and equipment. Liabilty is not the issue here, the district has just decided not to sanction an event centered on material that is not intended for kids.

Re:Rated M for Mature (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460965)

Well, gotta agree on this one. While I don't believe that playing violent video games breeds violent people any more than any other popular media, at least there isn't any solid proof of that yet, there was no way a high school based Halo 2 tournament was going to fly. Even if all of the participants happened to be 17+ and had parental permission and endorsement, our schools have become hypersensitized , especially since the Columbine tragedy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. If the students still want to raise money via a fun event, just choose something more acceptable or take it to a private location.

Wrong point of view (1)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456045)

Instead of the school admin worrying that this might lead to school shootings, maybe they should examine the other side of the spectrum. Perhaps, just perhaps, letting these teens take out some frustrations on some virtual characters in some game will help alleviate some stress.

I know I always feel better when I riddle some poor nameless sod with a few hundred rounds from my MG3 in Ghost Recon...

That's bull (1)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456264)

At my school, we have a club that meets every wednesday to play Unreal Tournament on school computers. The administration allows it, and we aren't even as noble as these guys who were working for tsunami releif.

What some people do in the name of "zero tolerence"...

Enforcing policies at random (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11456304)

'anything we do that even looks like we're endorsing violence is not appropriate.'

So I guess this school was -against- the war in Iraq ? As opposed to all the other state-institutes which liked to brainwash people into believing it was a rightous war?

This is horrible... (2, Interesting)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456573)

Back in the day (wow - that sounds corny), we managed to bring in an external drive with UT:GOTYE and "forgot" to leave it plugged into the network. Great times, UT'ing during open lab at lunch. The best part was when a few of the male teachers found out, and "Annonomously" joind games during their breaks.

It had little effect on productivity, grades didn't change, and we were using otherwise unnocupied resources. And I don't need to tell you the effect it had on morale...

Few months later, in the next semester, we had some county people in the school. One of them was checking email in the lab. Someone else walked in and booted up UT.

Not only did we recieve a ridiculous lecture (understand, we are 15 mins from Columbine, maybe 18mos later) but there were suspensions, the lab tech was reprimanded (later left the system - now makes twice the $$ dev'ing software!) And we made the district newsletter.

Schools over-react to everything, because by default, the only people in district management are the ones who think there is something intrensically wrong with the way the system is run - they do not understand logic - They comprehend only liability.

In related news (1)

RedWolves2 (84305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456587)

Students at a school go on a shooting spree when officials told them that they couldn't play Halo 2 for a good cause.

Idiots

We had the same sort of thing (1)

Johnny Doughnuts (767951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456650)

but not for tsunami relief. My English 10 class ended up bringing in two X-Boxes, 8 controllers and 2 copies of Halo 2. I brought in a crossover cable and we used school projectors. Teacher sanctioned it and maybe five teachers knew about the whole thing. We had a blast, and nobody was the wiser that would have caused us to shut down.

Understandable (2, Interesting)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456677)

I completely understand and agree with teh schools stance. Should anything have happened after the event, months or even years, you could bet that some parents group somewhere would have held the school liable for it.

I also think that the students should be commended for wanting to do something to aid the victims of this disaster. It proves that their generation isn't as disenfranchised as we are lead to believe.

Good job gamers!

Smart move by the school district (1)

clickster (669168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11456863)

I agree that it's stupid that they have to turn this kind of thing down. But I would do the same thing given today's society. If someone playing the games shot someone later, you know the district could get sued because they "promoted violence" and probably win. Not because it's true, but because we live in a "blame others first" society. It wouldn't be worth it to me to take the risk. Stupid society.

What this really teaches us... (3, Insightful)

Black Art (3335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457179)

This is only one small part of a much bigger problem.

American students are not taught how to distinguish fantasy from reality.

This has been going on for at least one generation, maybe more, depending on what criteria you use.

This is why Americans are not allowed to see real phone numbers in fictional movies. If they do, people call the numbers trying to reach the fictional characters. (A film that had a story about God helping people had a real number in it and the people who happened to have that number were swamped by people trying to contact God.)

Some people say our last election was an example of people who cannot tell fantasy from reality.

Some of the people who want to protect us from real violence seem to believe that fantasy violence either causes it or encourages real violence when the statistics show no such correleation. Just because they cannot tell the difference does not mean that others do not.

I can give other examples...

I doubt that this problem will be solved soon. Too many parts of American culture derive their power from the confusion of fantasy and reality for their to be any real incentive to change.

Re:What this really teaches us... (2, Informative)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458638)

Actually the phone number bit is more an issue of pranksterism than failure of fantasy distinguishment.

KLonkdike 5 numbers, the predecessors to our "555-01xx" (usually implemented liberally as "555-xxxx" ), were in the movies over fifty years ago for this reason.

Re:What this really teaches us... (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459974)

"Too many parts of American culture derive their power from the confusion of fantasy and reality for their to be any real incentive to change."

And I'm sure reality TV doesn't fuel that fire in the least bit.

Have I missed something? (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457455)

Why have I not heard of all these school shootings? I cannot recall hearing of even one last year!

dammit (1)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457486)

and here WA was on a good role maintaining it's stature as one of the more intelligent states. Oh well, Puyallup's not really known for its worldliness.

Re:dammit (1)

EvilLile (669198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458449)

Actually, your massive election recounts had already begun to chip away at it. We Californians will drag you down yet.

Actually, I lived in Puyallup for a while, so it's pretty crazy hearing that the high school I almost went to was where this was going to happen.

No Big Loss! (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458038)

They should just have an Animal Crossing tourney instead! That would rock!

"TAKE THAT ASSHOLE, I just got the Purple Flower Stationary! BUUYAH!"

This same school district also cancelled Halloween (1)

foooo (634898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458110)

This is the same school district that cancelled halloween this year. And they did it to avoid offending Wiccans. An independant survey of Wiccans in the area didn't reveal any who would have been offended.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,136946,00.ht ml

This is an issue on which Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree. What we have here is a group of school administrators so extremely left wing and paranoid that they'll cancel just about anything.

Better Story (1)

freek_daddy (250162) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458624)

Here's [komotv.com] a better story on the issue you cite.

I'm not sure where you got the information about an independent survey ... it's contradicted in the article. And the other reasons for the cancellation are also covered in this story.

Re:Better Story (1)

foooo (634898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458981)

That was the quote from my article...

A real-life witch who lives in nearby Tacoma agreed that the superintendent in Puyallup must be off his broomstick.

"I see Halloween more as a holiday, a fun time for them. Some of us Wiccan have a deeper meaning under it, but I don't think we should take away from the kids," Wiccan Marjenna Gittings said.

And the independent survey...
1) I know a bunch of Wiccans
2) Call in radio shows were unable to locate offended Wiccans, but managed to find plenty of Wiccans that *weren't* offended
3) The reporter from the story you quoted was unable to locate any offended Wiccans

The other reasons for cancellation are just as weak.

My point is not that there weren't other reasons for cancelling haloween, but that Puyallup School District is way too politically correct for it's own good.

Re:This same school district also cancelled Hallow (1)

crashfrog (126007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459366)

What we have here is a group of school administrators so extremely left wing and paranoid that they'll cancel just about anything.

"left wing" =/= "dipshit", dipshit.

And now for extinction news. (2, Funny)

pauldy (100083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458194)

The newest entry into the endangered lists, common sense. While everyone has been out ranting and raving about saving this animal, that plant, protecting minorities, and not hurting people's feelings we forgot to save one thing.

Ah, America. (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11458635)

Kids, we can't do anything that looks like we endorse violence. So no video games.

Now, get your football helmets on, get out there, and you POUND that other team into the GROUND! GO TEAM GO!

The school's right. (4, Interesting)

phouka (224269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11459335)

I'm guessing that a high percentage of the folks here condemning the school don't own homes.

Why? Because homeowners go through this sort of painful deliberation regularly.

I live in a cul-de-sac and my yard happens to be the recipient of all the snow for the entire street. For a kid, it presents awesome potential for king-of-the-hill, snowball fights, digging tunnels, etc. It's truly a massive amount of snow.

But can I really let the neighborhood kids play in it? No way. The second one of them got hurt, it's MY homeowner's policy on the line. It's MY insurance that's going to not get renewed, forcing me to double my cost for homeowner's insurance when I have to resort to the state 'pool'. In other words, if I want to be a nice guy I have to accept an unreasonable risk.

The school is in the same position. You can bet that administrator and the school officials really thought what the kids were doing was cool. You can also bet that they sat back and said: "When we get sued, it's going to require resources in time and money that we *really* can't afford, given ever-tightening school budges."

So they came to the only reasonable conclusion.

To all these folks screaming about the state of our country, I pose this question: Are you really, honestly ready to stand up and say "I won't sue my neighbor, even if he's technically culpable"? Because until you are, people are going to be more concerned about protecting themselves than in freeing up their resources to share.

Rifle Team, Anyone? (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 9 years ago | (#11460485)

I wonder what you'd have to do to start an offical rifle team (or pistol team, or trap team, or any other Olympic shooting sport team) at that school?

Have high school shooting teams become completely extinct?
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