Harvard Students Live Out Global Domination Fantasies

Harvard Students Live Out Global Domination FantasiesIt’s always irritating to hear people criticize college kids for “having too much time on their hands.” After all, it’s those kids — the ones with all that extra time — who end up starting little companies like, you know, Facebook, or Microsoft.

Case in point: this e-mail sent out to Harvard’s Adams House Sunday afternoon: 

From: [redacted]
Date: May 6, 2007 4:41 PM
Subject: [ADAMS] SAVE CLAVERLY!!
To: [redacted]

My fair Adamsians,

Right now, our beloved Claverly Hall is in grave danger.  The blue skies over Mt. Auburn stree are darked by a teeming horde of barbarians.
These foul creatures will stop at nothing to get their greasy hands on the jewel of gold coast housing.  I am, of course, referring to Winthrop house.  Right now, they have 64 armies poised on our border, ready to sweep in and occupy.  It is defended by only 35 valiant Adams knights. Brave and strong as they are, their numbers are too few.  As a resident of Claverly, I cannot bear to live ruled by the debaucherous Winthropians!  I beg you, my friends, to come to our aid!

We will fight them on Linden Street!  We will fight them in the pool! We will fight them in the tunnels!  WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER!  Sign up for Risk before 5 PM!

~Will

We haven’t seen Harvard kids so riled up since The Crimson tried to take away their maids!

The idea for a campus-wide game of game of Risk is nothing less than genius. For starters, it’s perfect for finals period: Unlike the squirtgun shootout Assassins, you never have to leave your dorm. Students form teams that must then conquer other dorms. Whoever conquers all of campus by May 20 wins. Between now and then, we expect many battle-cry emails like the one above. (Even if you didn’t get into Harvard, you can watch the game here.)

There’s just one problem: Yale had the idea first. Earlier this year, Gabe Smedresman, Yale ’06, designed a campus-wide game of RISK that ended up attracting over 350 students. (Check out the original Yale version here.) Do the Harvard biters give credit? Meh, sort of. If you look at the Harvard edition’s FAQ page, it says the site was created by the Harvard College Events Board. But then at the bottom, in tiny print: “Based on idea and source code by Gabe Smedresman.” Aha!

If there was ever a sign that Yale looms large in Harvard’s rearview mirror, this is it. Next thing you know, Harvard dorms will start calling themselves “colleges,” the Crimson will transmogrify into a navy blue, and Harvard students will suddenly become fulfilled human beings. Mmm, on second thought, unlikely.

  • y08

    it was actually 3300 students. (:

  • y08

    it was actually 3300 students. (:

  • y08

    it was actually 3300 students. (:

  • C’07

    http://cornellsun.com/node/18460 – C.U. Students Organize ‘Zombies vs. Humans’

  • C’07

    http://cornellsun.com/node/18460 – C.U. Students Organize ‘Zombies vs. Humans’

  • C’07

    http://cornellsun.com/node/18460 – C.U. Students Organize ‘Zombies vs. Humans’

  • wow

    harvard is such a tool for copying yale like that

  • wow

    harvard is such a tool for copying yale like that

  • wow

    harvard is such a tool for copying yale like that

  • Rabitor

    Looking at the Harvard game board, I can honestly say I don’t envy them. Their attempt to make a comprehensible map of Boston (or any surrounding area) looks as awful and confusing as it should. This is one of the few times I’m actually happy to be living in New Haven, which was actually built on a nice grid, and thus much better for Risk.

  • Rabitor

    Looking at the Harvard game board, I can honestly say I don’t envy them. Their attempt to make a comprehensible map of Boston (or any surrounding area) looks as awful and confusing as it should. This is one of the few times I’m actually happy to be living in New Haven, which was actually built on a nice grid, and thus much better for Risk.

  • Rabitor

    Looking at the Harvard game board, I can honestly say I don’t envy them. Their attempt to make a comprehensible map of Boston (or any surrounding area) looks as awful and confusing as it should. This is one of the few times I’m actually happy to be living in New Haven, which was actually built on a nice grid, and thus much better for Risk.

  • Michael Robin H ’08

    Down with Adams! Viva Winthrop!

  • Michael Robin H ’08

    Down with Adams! Viva Winthrop!

  • Michael Robin H ’08

    Down with Adams! Viva Winthrop!

  • alex

    the eff, man??

    yAle produces fulfilled human beings?WRANG.
    totally uncalled for. Once blood runs crimson, it stays crimson — correct your self.

  • alex

    the eff, man??

    yAle produces fulfilled human beings?WRANG.
    totally uncalled for. Once blood runs crimson, it stays crimson — correct your self.

  • alex

    the eff, man??

    yAle produces fulfilled human beings?WRANG.
    totally uncalled for. Once blood runs crimson, it stays crimson — correct your self.

  • y ’10

    you can’t even see what’s going on in the harvard map.

  • y ’10

    you can’t even see what’s going on in the harvard map.

  • y ’10

    you can’t even see what’s going on in the harvard map.

  • FP

    I’d like to throw in the mitigating factor that Will Skinner ALWAYS writes/talks in those grandiose type of terms…
    And Harvard expanded pretty seriously on the Yale example. At its conception the Elis had to wait hours for an update AS THE CREATOR ROLLED HUNDREDS OF DICE!! We’re a little beyond that, at least.

  • FP

    I’d like to throw in the mitigating factor that Will Skinner ALWAYS writes/talks in those grandiose type of terms…
    And Harvard expanded pretty seriously on the Yale example. At its conception the Elis had to wait hours for an update AS THE CREATOR ROLLED HUNDREDS OF DICE!! We’re a little beyond that, at least.

  • FP

    I’d like to throw in the mitigating factor that Will Skinner ALWAYS writes/talks in those grandiose type of terms…
    And Harvard expanded pretty seriously on the Yale example. At its conception the Elis had to wait hours for an update AS THE CREATOR ROLLED HUNDREDS OF DICE!! We’re a little beyond that, at least.

  • sahjahpah

    WE RIDE FOR MATHER

  • sahjahpah

    WE RIDE FOR MATHER

  • sahjahpah

    WE RIDE FOR MATHER

  • Bill Skinner

    I’m not going to lie to you, my son Will has not a drop of originality in him. It’s really sad. He’s an embarassment to my family.

  • Bill Skinner

    I’m not going to lie to you, my son Will has not a drop of originality in him. It’s really sad. He’s an embarassment to my family.

  • Bill Skinner

    I’m not going to lie to you, my son Will has not a drop of originality in him. It’s really sad. He’s an embarassment to my family.

  • harvardian

    hahaha the yale version looks so lame!

  • harvardian

    hahaha the yale version looks so lame!

  • harvardian

    hahaha the yale version looks so lame!

  • y08

    you’re right, when gabe came up with the idea it should have been totally perfect. our mistake. thank god you guys are around to improve on what we invent.
    tools.

  • y08

    you’re right, when gabe came up with the idea it should have been totally perfect. our mistake. thank god you guys are around to improve on what we invent.
    tools.

  • y08

    you’re right, when gabe came up with the idea it should have been totally perfect. our mistake. thank god you guys are around to improve on what we invent.
    tools.

  • Y 09

    Davenport College at Yale got really into it (my college, Saybrook, had a short-lived hegemony, then lost interest). Dport even appointed a commander to strategize and direct armies.

  • Y 09

    Davenport College at Yale got really into it (my college, Saybrook, had a short-lived hegemony, then lost interest). Dport even appointed a commander to strategize and direct armies.

  • Y 09

    Davenport College at Yale got really into it (my college, Saybrook, had a short-lived hegemony, then lost interest). Dport even appointed a commander to strategize and direct armies.

  • FC

    I think Gabe got credit and the CEB changed the system to fit itself. People seem to be having a good time.

    As to the “incomprehensible map” comment…that’s just what our campus looks like…it’s too bad it has character, unlike yale.

    PS. Shout outs to Gabe. What a beast!

  • FC

    I think Gabe got credit and the CEB changed the system to fit itself. People seem to be having a good time.

    As to the “incomprehensible map” comment…that’s just what our campus looks like…it’s too bad it has character, unlike yale.

    PS. Shout outs to Gabe. What a beast!

  • FC

    I think Gabe got credit and the CEB changed the system to fit itself. People seem to be having a good time.

    As to the “incomprehensible map” comment…that’s just what our campus looks like…it’s too bad it has character, unlike yale.

    PS. Shout outs to Gabe. What a beast!

  • y2008

    FP: I can’t tell if you were trying to crack a joke, but for the record: I’m fairly sure there was no actual dice-rolling involved.

  • y2008

    FP: I can’t tell if you were trying to crack a joke, but for the record: I’m fairly sure there was no actual dice-rolling involved.

  • GG Y’09

    Improvements on the Harvard version are only graphical. No attempt has been made to change the rules which evolved as the Yale game progressed.

    In every way that matters, the Harvard game’s just a copy of the original. This is not a criticism b/c Gabe is sharing his code, but failing to give due credit is no better than stealing someone else’s book and giving it a snazzier title – a Harvard forte I hear.

  • GG Y’09

    Improvements on the Harvard version are only graphical. No attempt has been made to change the rules which evolved as the Yale game progressed.

    In every way that matters, the Harvard game’s just a copy of the original. This is not a criticism b/c Gabe is sharing his code, but failing to give due credit is no better than stealing someone else’s book and giving it a snazzier title – a Harvard forte I hear.

  • GG Y’09

    Improvements on the Harvard version are only graphical. No attempt has been made to change the rules which evolved as the Yale game progressed.

    In every way that matters, the Harvard game’s just a copy of the original. This is not a criticism b/c Gabe is sharing his code, but failing to give due credit is no better than stealing someone else’s book and giving it a snazzier title – a Harvard forte I hear.

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