So the old "Dungeons and Dragons causes violence" meme has reared it's ugly head again. This time from the particularly lazy journalism of Ms. Laurel J. Sweet and the Boston Herald. Ms. Sweet put forth that golden chestnut that somehow playing the game Dungeons and Dragons is somehow linked to violent murder. In particular the ones Amy Bishop is accused of.
Now let me be clear here. What ever Amy Bishop did or didn't do in her personal life is unimportant when dealing with the fact that she murdered three people, supposedly because she didn't get tenure. We could just as easily blame the University tenure track or the pressures of a publish or perish environment. I am sure people will blame the gun companies too.
Here is a novel idea. Let's blame Amy Bishop. She is the one that pulled the trigger after all. Apparently she kept pulling till the gun jammed.
But my ire is not directed at Amy Bishop. We have a court system, juries and a judge for her. No mine is on the lazy, so called journalism of Laurel J. Sweet. Yeah I linked her name again. Wonder why.
To make the claims or even allusions she is making are either laziness, a misguided attempt to push copy or a hidden conservative agenda. She published not just one, but two articles on this. At the risk of giving her exactly what she wants here are the links. Use a browser that blocks ads if you wish to make a statement:
So. why do I get so worked up about these things? Well frankly stupid people piss me off, but smart people enabling stupid people to do more stupid things is worse.
See here is how it works. Lazy journalist looking for a good byline writes fluff piece about D&D leading to murder. Next thing you know some shit-for-brains religious fuck-wit then quotes the article as "expert testimony", then that person gets quoted as "reading up on all the latest literature", then it is used as "evidence" in a Wikipedia article and you get a snowball of stupid rolling down hill.
Pat Pulling again and TLN is showing "Mazes & Monsters" in heavy rotation.
Ok to be fair I have no idea if TLN has ever shown "Mazes & Monsters".
It irritates me because it is lazy, and stupid. Obviously the Boston Herald is trying to push copy and Ms. Sweet is only too happy to help. But it is bad journalism.
I had my run ins with the D&D Satanic Panic of the 80's. I was lucky to have had parents that were smart enough to know better than to listen to fundies and to trust their children. Later on I dealt with Jack Chick personally and, if I may be so bold, came out the winner in that one.
The time I now spend playing D&D with my own children has been fantastic. I have met some of the coolest people through this game and others like it. It is a great past time full of great people who deserve better than being painted by the sloppy brush of Laurel J. Sweet.
Agree with me? Why not let Laurel J. Sweet know yourself. Reasonable, intelligent emails only. Or even just something to convey your disappointment in a polite manner.
Don't give her anything else to write about.