Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Thu, Nov 02 2006

Airport Security: The Game

Going to the airport used to be fun. Now we're told when to take our shoes off, what we can drink and where to stand to be pawed by people we could have arrested for assault and battery if they advanced upon us in that fashion in any other setting. I suppose the only way to have fun with it now is to pretend we're role playing in some real-time game and that this is all part of how we earn points to advance to the next level.

I wonder how long it will take for some bureaucratic type to figure out a way to charge passengers for this fanatic screening and to tell us that there will be a surcharge for every extra minute of time spent on those of us who take longer than average to screen. Maybe they'll earn double points for their next level of play while they do that.

I suppose whoever hands out the points would have to figure out how many Chris Soghoian should get for making a fake boarding pass and documenting the facts. And how many points would Congressman Ed Markey get for calling for Mr. Soghoian's arrest? Would he have to forfeit his points for changing his mind about an arrest being appropriate? The FBI would surely have racked up serious points for its part in raiding Mr. Sighoian's home. Lawyers will be heavy role-players in this game. Their points may hinge on their ability to keep the level of tension high. Politicians may earn extra points for passing new laws that infringe on the rights of other players. Other players must also give up points as taxes so that politicians may continue to travel freely and campaign on other players' time and money. After all, this is role-playing based on real world issues—not some fantasy.

How many points would screeners at Newark International forfeit for doing so poorly on recent security tests? Meanwhile, a super-duper bomb-sniffing "puffer" sits idly at St. Louis Lambert International. Should they forfeit a few points for just putting the thing into storage? And isn't "bomb-sniffing puffer" an oxymoron?

posted at: 07:54 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

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