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March 11, 2005

The Israeli Army and Role-Playing Games.

Much buzz in certain sectors of the Blogosphere yesterday about the fact that the IDF considers players of Role-Playing-Games (RPGs) like Dungeons and Dragons to be poor cannon fodder.

I find that among my readers there are many D&D'ers. Yours truly wasted many an hour he could have spent chasing wimmin and swilling alcohol instead sitting around a table, rolling dice, swilling Coke (the Armorer didn't really start drinking until he made Major - he thinks the two are related), eating pizza, and taking down the Frost Giant Jarl and his minions. With GFs around the table, too.

The Armorer always did like a good fighter. His best friends were a Mage, Cleric, Thief, and a Ranger. Good balance in that party, eh? Except the damn Thief was so chaotic we occasionally hadda kill him to get our stuff back... but that's a different story.

Anyway - the Armorer went on to invade small countries, meet exotic people, and kill them - all at the direction of the Government, mind you. And was entrusted with *nukulur* weapons. And Western Civ still stands, if our feet are being washed with a tide of tiny little Islamist crabs.

Methinks the IDF should chill, and rather than shunt these kids off to pointless jobs - examine their strengths and put them to use.

Kinda like we do, to wit:

In the United States, where RPGs were invented in the early 1970s, there have been many accusations (by religious leaders, lawyers and distraught parents looking for a reason strange behavior by their children) about the bad effects of using RPGs. There has never been any concrete evidence that RPGs do any harm. The American military encourages the use of RPG and other games by troops, both for recreation and professional training. RPG game design techniques have been used in professional wargames.

In response to the IDF revelation, one D&D player provided a Top 10
list of positive reasons for having IDF recruits who play D&D.

10. Ability to make split second decisions while simultaneously
thinking about how the entire scenario will play out.

9. Axe-wielding skills.

8. Two words: Healing potion.

7. Ability to think outside the labyrinth.

6. Most Dungeon Masters are good strategists.

5. Being a 15th level magic user warrants as much respect as being a
soldier in Sayeret Matkal (an elite IDF recon unit).

4. Elf assassins are stealthy and efficient.

3. Chicks dig chain mail armor.

2. After battling enough dwarfs and mystical pygmies you learn not to
underestimate your enemy.

1. Heightened ability to read people - "She may look like a Mermaid but
there is definitely something nefarious about her and I've been less
trustworthy of female lake dwellers since that Siren pulled a fast one on
me last year back on the Netherworld."

So, Denizens. A challenge! Raise the Scorpion Banner, Cry Havoc! and let slip the Denizens of the Castle... what would *OUR* top ten list of reasons the IDF should happily embrace the Geeks?