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Roleplayers Seek Removal of Nerf Gun Ban 547

Posted by samzenpus
from the there-are-no-guns-in-darkon dept.
An anonymous reader writes "LARP fans at Bowling Green State University may have to contend with a crippled game of Humans vs. Zombies after the University banned Nerf guns on campus. In the live-action game, players are either humans or zombies. The goal of the game is to change all the humans into zombies, or for the humans to evade capture by zombies for a certain amount of time. To defend themselves against zombies, humans may use Nerf guns. Players (most likely the human ones) are petitioning the University to lift the ban. The game had troubles back in 2006, when participating students were arrested. That issue has since been cleared up."
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Roleplayers Seek Removal of Nerf Gun Ban

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  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:37AM (#22878320)
    We're banning nerf guns now? Why?

    What are we now, "Land of the fee, home of the scared?"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The same thing that motivates gun control in general: totemism.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:13AM (#22878548)
        pretty sure that nerf guns don't kill people. And you can argue all you want about people being the ones who kill people.. a person without a weapon is far less likely to splatter brains everywhere within seconds of deciding to hurt someone.
        • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:52AM (#22878758)
          ...a person without a weapon is far less likely to splatter brains everywhere within seconds of deciding to hurt someone.

          What's a weapon? You can splatter someone's brains everywhere in seconds with almost anything.
        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by modecx (130548) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:11AM (#22879038)
          I tell you, some people are crazy, fun-sucking assholes. My cousin'(s) mother wouldn't ever let anything capable of launching a projectile anywhere near her children. I tried to play some NERF wars with him back when he was about 10 and my family got chewed out because she's some kind of anti gun nazi, you know because a 9mm Glock and a tube that launches foam spheres are apparently really very much alike. Now, he's a sad shell of an uncreative, pasty, frumpy and lethargic ~16.5 year old, and currently his chances of ever even being touched by an unrelated female are somewhat worse than the average /.er's chance of scoring with something bi-pedal.

          Seriously, Stephen King's Carrie was allowed more opportunities for fun. If fanatically obsessive parents could be called "helicopter parents", she's the AH-64 gunship parent. Someone similar to her was undoubtedly responsible for this anti-nerf hullabaloo. If the quantity of pirates in the world is inversely related to global warming, I contend that this is possible: the number of school shootings could be proportional to the quantity of obsessive and dominating parents.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Himring (646324) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @08:12AM (#22880214) Homepage Journal
      News report:
      A convenient store clerk was killed late yesterday during an armed robbery. The assailants were using nerf bats. The slaying took approximately 9 hours....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bkr1_2k (237627)
      Now? We've been that way for the last generation at least. It started with not letting children "fail" and given trophies to all teams/participants because we didn't want to ruin anyone's self esteem. We've just slowly graduated to the extreme of not letting adults play with children's toys because it might frighten others.

      There will always be stupid people. We need to put a stop to letting them run everything.
  • Stupid ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:38AM (#22878330) Homepage
    So they're using nerf guns. What's the big deal. Even if an innocent bystander gets caught in the crossfire, no big deal. Shouldn't they have better things to do?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:41AM (#22878354)
    I mean seriously, those are toys, they are specifically designed in a way that tries to eliminate every possibility of injury.
    • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:58AM (#22878468)
      Anybody remember Silly String? Do they even still make that stuff?

      A few years ago (can't remember when exactly) some dumb kid in Boston shot at another dumb kid with Silly String. The kid with Silly String all over him then took out a real gun, and shot the first kid dead. Mayor Menino's response to this was a proposal to ban Silly String within city limits.

      This isn't exactly the same situation, but the political logic seems strangely reminiscent.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by uvajed_ekil (914487)
        I'm pretty sure that at some recent point in American history, being hit with fists has also led to getting shot. So to be consistent, we need to ban fists, too. Confiscate all hands, I say. Screw confiscating the arms that enable these crimes.
      • Anybody remember Silly String? Do they even still make that stuff?

        The army does. I read several years ago that silly string was being used in Iraq. The lightweight strings, and the propulsion device, are ideal for detecting tripwires.
  • by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:41AM (#22878366)
    ...when they're afraid of people getting hurt with a FREAKING *NERF* GUN!
  • Nerf Guns (Score:5, Funny)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:44AM (#22878390) Journal
    Wouldn't roleplayers support a ban on nerfing guns?

    There're too many double negatives in that headline.
  • parents complaining? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joyfeather (1167073)
    I'm not sure if the college administration was making up the part about parents "complaining" or not. I still haven't figured out why parents want to treat college students like they are still in middle school, and why colleges are willing to go along with it!
    • by Charcharodon (611187) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:08AM (#22878834)
      Didn't you hear? Adulthood has been moved up to 41.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ISurfTooMuch (1010305)
      It's money, my friend. Parents are insisting that colleges protect little Junior from any exposure to that scary thing called the real world, and administrators, eager to lure in the parents' dollars, are willing to oblige. Of course, Mom and Dad don't know or choose to ignore the fact that little Junior is doing shots of whatever alcoholic beverage he can find, then chasing them with a six pack or three, right before he gets behind the wheel to drive down to his frat house, where his brothers have assemb
  • by Nova Express (100383) <lawrenceperson@g m a i l . com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:48AM (#22878414) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine had one of these in college. We were running around zapping each other in a restaurant parking lot when a cop pulled up, lights flashing, and informed my friend he was about two second away from being shot before the cop realized it was a water gun. He was Not Amused.

    Nerf should be fine as long as it's obvious that it IS a Nerf weapon. If not, or if it's taking place at night. be sure you play in a place where everyone knows you're in a game, or be prepared for some Very Bad Consequences if you're not careful.

  • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:51AM (#22878428)
    called Assassin that some frats and/or dorms play at UIUC. A guy locked himself in his room to avoid an assassin, who then camped right outside his door, ready to strike the instant he opened the door. Supposedly, the guy really had to do #2, but rather than open the door and lose, he crapped out his 2nd floor window.
  • by coren2000 (788204) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @12:52AM (#22878438) Journal
    I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire 10 nerf darts or only nine?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Nerf Dart Tag Magstrike the most powerful nerfgun in the world, and would tickle your nose with a perfect shot, you've got to ask yourself a question:

    Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

    http://www.hasbro.com/nerf/default.cfm?page=viewproduct&product_id=17890 [hasbro.com]
  • by wal9001 (1041058) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:02AM (#22878494)
    Penn State's spring semester game is just getting underway (stealth zombies period ends at noon tomorrow), and it's fucking awesome, just like last semester's was. Yes, they let us use nerf guns, and nobody's been injured except for one guy who broke his foot while falling down some stairs last game. That's why we make people sign waivers.

    It's the best game ever. Hope they get the issues cleared up, as nerf guns and the associated modifications (yeah, I'm an engineering student) are a really fun aspect of it. If your college doesn't play, go get it started. I recommend talking it over w/ the campus cops first though, just to make sure you won't have problems like this.
  • To defend themselves, humans can use improvised foam melee weapons [googlepages.com].

    Bonus: It makes it more realistic (what are the chances you'll have your guns with you on Z day?).
  • When do we want 'em? BRRRRAAAAIIIINNNSSSSS!!!!

    Here at UMass Amherst we're currently in the opening days of our second game of Humans vs. Zombies. The first was played beginning last Halloween. I'm currently a zombie.

    To all those telling us to get lives: we have them. Humans often get tagged because they tried to continue normal campus life during the game. It's not a LARPing thing: nobody dresses up; we just wear a band around our arm or head to indicate team status. Games usually last a couple of weeks, and consist of normal play coupled with "missions" that reward either human or zombie for accomplishing objectives as a team. One of those missions is always a food drive for the poor. Sure, we have to hide our Nerf guns during room inspections, but even the RAs really don't give a damn (like they apparently do at Bowling Green. To top it off, HvZ players are usually some of the coolest, most interesting people on campus (including numerous attractive women).

    It's good clean fun for college kids that doesn't necessarily involve getting wasted (though you can, and we do, play wasted here at UMass). What's not to like?
  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @01:07AM (#22878524) Journal
    all of this trouble because:

    The students were issued citations for disorderly conduct, according to Chief Jim Wiegand of the University police. Weigand said the students created a panic situation by carrying what appeared to be firearms on campus. "We do not allow weapons or facsimiles of weapons on campus," he said.
    then I suppose they don't allow pencils or pens on campus because they resemble dangerous things like ice picks and no silverware of any kind because they resemble pitchforks and gutting knives. there's trying to prevent confusion of whether something is a deadly weapon or not and then there's bureaucratic stupidity. guess which this one is.
    • then I suppose they don't allow pencils or pens on campus because they resemble dangerous things like ice picks
      When there's a rash of mass-murders on campuses using an ice-pick, they'll ban things that remind them of ice-picks.

      For the meantime, lets just be happy you can still have a camera tripod [thestar.com] on campus.
  • WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RoboRay (735839)
    Someone call the NRA.
  • by tooler (36824) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:06AM (#22878824)
    The only explanation is that campus administrators are zombies. The cheating bastards want to make sure nothing stops them from eating more brains.
  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval&gmail,com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:55AM (#22878998) Journal
    Is it the same penelty to carry NERF as it is to carry Colt?

  • Sigh..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by IHC Navistar (967161) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:15AM (#22879054)
    If I was the Judge that had to deal with these citations, I would give each and every issuing officer a good 'ol fashioned judicial beat-down.

    Nerf guns are just like firearms and just as dangerous:

    Nerf Guns:

    Brightly colorful.
    Use compressed air.
    Don't resemble, even remotely, real guns.
    Shoot big yellow sponges.
    Sponge "bullets" bounce off of their target and usually make the target laugh.
    Make funny noises when fired.
    The target either never falls down, or gets right back up immediately, provided he or she didn't fall of a cliff.
    Can be bought at any Toy's 'R' Us by a 10 year old.
    Cost as cheap as $10.

    Real guns:

    Black or chrome plated.
    Use smokeless powder.
    Resemble reals guns because they are real guns.
    Shoot lead or copper-jacketed bullets.
    Lead bullets penetrate the target and usually make the target scream in pain.
    Makes a loud bang when fired.
    The person who was shot doesn't usually get up.
    Can only be bought by someone who is 21 or older at licensed dealerships, plus State and Federal background checks.
    Usually cost between $500-$2999 (hardly milk money)

    So, yeah, I can understand how the police became easily confused between the two. Someone should give Barney Fife and his fellow deputies a public commendation for protecting safe fun-loving people from themselves.

    I was looking through my college's regulations to see if they had rules prohibiting Nerf Guns and came across the following:

    "Weapons and Explosives
    1. Possession, use, or sale of any incendiary, explosive, firearm, or destructive device is not permitted. At no time will live ammunition of any type be permitted in or on university premises.
    2. Any weapon including, but not limited to guns (i.e., air soft guns, BB/pellet guns, paintball guns, potato guns, pistols, revolvers, firearms, etc.), knives, and any items that are a reasonable facsimile of such weapons are prohibited.
    3. Ammunition or explosives (including fireworks) of any kind are prohibited.
    4. Failure to report to campus security and/or residence hall personnel the presence of an unlawful weapon, explosive or incendiary device, when the presence of such weapon or device is known or reasonably suspected is a violation of the rules and regulations of the University.
    5. Reporting the false presence of an unlawful weapon, explosive or incendiary device with the intent to mislead or deceive is prohibited."

    It doesn't list Nerf guns, but states that guns "that are a "resonable facsimile of such weapons are prohibited". This allows anybody with half a brain to successfully argue that Nerf guns are not a "resonable facsimile".

    Interestingly enough, the preceeding section is of the following:

    "Projectiles
    1. Throwing, dropping, or projecting objects from any residence structure, including but not limited to self, keys, bodily fluids, and trash is strictly prohibited. In addition, throwing objects or playing sports in community courtyards is not permitted without permission from the Community Director of that area. Individuals and/or residential communities may be held financially responsible for repairing damages, painting costs, and general maintenance related to projectiles."

    So, technically, that means it is against the rules to play flag football, catch, pickle, or Frisbee without getting permission. Man, we didn't even have to ask the Yard Duty for permission to do these things in Elementary school. I guess I should pack up my lawn darts.
  • Help me out here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Techman83 (949264) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:34AM (#22879128)

    While in the meeting, the group was told the game was in danger of being canceled due to the number of calls the University received last semester from concerned parents.
    Can I pose a question, now in Australia University mean mostly people who have finished Secondary School and are generally 18 and over. Why the hell are parents calling and complaining, aren't we supposed to be merging into an adult and independent life at this point in time???

    So is my thinking wrong?? Either way it sounds like a damn fun game and I sometimes feel cheated by not going to Uni (Traineeship, experience and courses make up my resume, uni would have been a waste as far as employability goes, but it sounds like a shit load of fun!)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cvd6262 (180823)
      As a professor, I can tell you that USian parents hover over their kids long after high school. It may stem from an unhealthy overprotectiveness, or it might be that they are simply protecting their investment: Most college students receive thousands of dollars from their parents each year. Also, if the kids drop out, the parents will feel obligated to house and feed them until they get back on their feet.

      So, yes, as screwed up as it is, parents call teachers and administrators (even deans) to voice their c
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by microTodd (240390)
      Let me tell you a quick story from my U.S. university days, and maybe it will help you understand.

      When I was 18, and visiting a university campus getting ready to start, my father came along with me. Along with the group were several other 18-year-olds and their parents. During the tour, the guide mentioned that report cards were sent to the students' addresses (not the parents), and also that the students' cafeteria account was not accessible by the parents. Several of the parents expressed concern and
  • by sherriw (794536) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @11:15AM (#22882112)
    Someone show me a real world weapon that looks like those nerf guns? How in the hell are they considered a facsimile?

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