Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Ready or not, here we go," March 28, 2009

Rules of engagement

If 13-year-old Evan Spencer wanted to play the popular video game "Call of Duty: World at War," he would first have to learn something about real war. That's because to earn permission from his father to play the game, the Ontario teen had to read the Geneva Conventions-and promise to abide by them while playing the first-person shooting game set on World War II battlefields. So that's what Evan did. How has it played out on the Xbox? "To remember it, it's basically common sense," Evan told the Globe and Mail. "Someone surrenders and you don't just go and kill them anyways." But his "rules of war" approach doesn't always jibe with ruthless friends with whom he plays online. "If there's one standing in the way, they'll just shoot them and they'll fall on the floor and they just walk by them," he said. "That doesn't feel right."

Fighting chance

The Few. The Proud. The septuagenarian granny? A 79-year-old Crestview, Fla., woman received a recruiting letter from the United States Marine Corps via Federal Express on March 2 urging her to enlist. Opal Blackwell Walker, who plans to retire from her job as a newspaper carrier on March 28, just three weeks before her 80th birthday, read part of the letter to the Northwest Florida Daily News. "It says 'Dear Opal, Do you think you have what it takes to be a Marine? Are you prepared for one of the most demanding challenges you will ever face?'" said Walker. She told the paper she plans on taking the letter to the recruiting office to see their reaction.

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