One Difference Between the United States and Israel


Ynetnews is claiming that Israeli soldiers who play Dungeons & Dragons are considered "detached from reality" and given a low security clearance.

Jeff Patterson, who sent me the story, comments that "this is a far cry from the old Marines ads where a knight slays a magma beast."

NEXT: The Way to Dusty Death

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  1. … in their free time dress up as witches and play in forests.

    The LP would run them for office.

  2. The army is not indifferent to the unique hobby and is trying to locate soldiers who in their free time dress up as witches and play in forests.

    That’s one of the funniest non-fictional sentences I’ve ever read.

    Lightning bolt!

  3. The best part about that article (which I’ve now seen from three different sources):

    At no point does the author of the article ever seem to even consider contacting Wizards of the Coast, or Hasbro.

    He seems to take the existence of D&D as… some kind of cultural artifact. Like chess, or checkers. The article makes it clear that the author couldn’t be bothered with even rudimentary research. If he had, he might have realized that ‘D and D’ is a trademark, a product name, and actually has, you know, an owner.

    The photos of random LARPers are a nice touch; lord knows WotC doesn’t keep three metric tons of promotional graphics on hand to supply to journalists for news articles about D&D.

    It makes me wonder what level of reporting is really required at a site that calls itself “authoritative” and “world-class”. Had this been, for instance, an article about the unreliability of people who read Stephen King novels, do you suppose it might have included the line, ‘Stephen King’s agent was unavailable for comment’, at the very least?

    (No comment on the reliability of D&D players. I love me some gaming, but I’ve gamed with some real freaks in my time.)

  4. Well, at least they aren’t as queer as these guys:

  5. This will be a nice opportunity to test my theory that libertarians are just RPG’ers and closet otaku who got to where they are by putting down their Dungeon Master’s guide and picking up The Fountainhead at around age 15.

  6. I always wondered about that Marines ad. I think it had the same director as the Krokus “Screaming in the Night” video I saw too many times on early-to-mid 80s MTV.

    Did I say “director”? Sorry, I meant “dungeon master”.

  7. I’d think that for us sci-fi/fantasy nerds, Heinlein would be a much greater influence overall than Rand. “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” is the sort of thing you can squeeze in between reading “Foundation” and the new Star Wars novel.

  8. The LP would run them for office.

    I think if the LP would run a high-charisma 30th-level halfling mage with a 27th-level half-orc paladin as veep, that would be cool.

    (I didn’t play D&D, but my brother did, and I enjoyed reading all his gaming materials.)

    (I didn’t loosen up enough to play role-playing games until I was way into my 30s … and they were of a much different nature. But, once again, I have shared too much.)

  9. Considering our military’s most sucessful recruitment-effort recently has been role-playing computer simulations on a massively connective-scale….Nerds Rule. Although the US military is built around an increasingly free-form combat-model whereas the Israelis have a fairly narrow focus dealing with both unconventional means and Syrian armored-thrusts.

    One telling moment in a recent TV documentary on Basic Training was teh sea-change in the DI’s attitudes towards the “nerdy-guys”. They realized that they (the Military) NEEDS the nerds to keep the commo’ and computer equipment up and running. Now, they encourage the nebbish to strive and complete training…rather than driving them back to Momma.

    Dr. Daniel Jackson is a new “Role Model”. Times are a’changing, …fear for our enemies.

  10. I presume military leaders play wargames- and let me tell ya, at least back in my day, D&D people didn’t have a big lead in the nerdy department over people who enjoyed a day of Blitzkrieg or Squad Leader, or “napoleonics” with batallions of little painted figurines. Presumably, the military considers a young kid role playing as a general or WWII platoon leader to somehow more close to reality than fantasizing about being a wizard. All these years later, looks about the same to me.

  11. the army has confirmed that it has a negative image of teens who play the game and labels them as problematic in regard to their draft status.

    Something to keep in mind when the Bush administration reinstates the draft… 😉

  12. Rick Barton, will you please remind us that this inhumane oppression is being perpetrated at the expense of the US taxpayers?

    “Look, all we want is the right of return to our native lands in Eldamar, which the Valar are occupying and keeping us from.”

  13. Dungeons and Dragons, Satan’s game. Your children, like it or not, are attracted in their weaker years to the occult, and a game like DnD fuels their imagination and makes them feel special while drawing them deeper and deeper into the bowels of El Diablo.

    This afternoon the dead alewives watch tower invites you to sit in on an actual gaming session. Observe the previously unobservable as a hidden camera takes you to the inner sanctum of Dungeons and Dragons…. (3 MB)

  14. Cackle! Sounds a little like my brother’s games, only they didn’t take themselves so seriously. And opposing wizards would cast spells like “Uncontrollable Bowel Movements.”

  15. “These people have a tendency to be influenced by external factors which could cloud their judgment, a military official says. “They may be detached from reality or have a weak personality ? elements which lower a person’s security clearance, allowing them to serve in the army, but not in sensitive positions.”

    “Weak” personality?? Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

  16. Well, that’s not a good sign. The psychological “experts” who work for IDF obviously don’t know wtf they are talking about. I wonder if such stupidity extends to their work on other fronts as well …

  17. “Look, all we want is the right of return to our native lands in Eldamar, which the Valar are occupying and keeping us from.”

    Dammit, I can’t think of anything to top that.

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