[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Editorial: Wow, guys, way to keep up.

So if you follow video game news at all, it may have come to your attention last week that a security guard at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was so absorbed with a handheld video game that he failed to notice an official inspector making the rounds.

The story broke on Friday and started to gain legitimate coverage on Saturday (sorry, Yahoo!, but your news department is so highly suspect that I rank its quality on par with The Weekly World News but without the entertainment value) and is now gaining the attention of larger news groups.

'So why are big news groups paying attention now?' I hear you asking, Dear Readers. In my opinion, it's because video games are such a hot button in the world of politics right now and are the focus of a great deal of legislative scrutiny... in other terms: video games equal controversy right now. Controversy, in turn, is something that people will pay attention to. Thus, controversy makes good news because it hooks an audience. Don't believe me? Just look at how many people followed the idiotic behavior of Tom Cruise compared to those who have paid attention to the recent actions of the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka.

To be honest, I don't think this would be such a big deal if the guard had been immersed in a book instead of playing a game. Apparently there have been five other counts of inattention over the past two years (hmmm... I don't seem to recall seing any of those incidents making headlines, do you?), so excuse me for getting just a little bit irritated at the fact that it's garnering attention now. I personally couldn't care less about what these guards were doing while they were cited for inattention... what I care about is the fact that nothing has been done until now. Have we learned nothing from previous screw-ups at these types of facilities?

Admittedly, electronic devices, computers, and books are allowed at Three Mile Island in order to help these guards stay awake and alert, which seems reasonable. So, what I really want to know is why they're hiring and keeping around people who are so easily distracted that they would overlook an inspector's repeated approach... especially when we know just how badly things can go


  • Please don't get ahead of yourself with this issue. It's one thing to say you'd wish that the people monitoring nuclear power plants didn't play video games in between tasks, but it is another to suggest that something akin to Chernobyl could be the result of this behavior.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:52 PM  

  • Um... all I said was that we know how badly things can go at these facilities if (note the "if", not "when") safety/security standards are lax. Granted, there are a couple of official stories regarding what happened with Chernobyl, so no one can identify the source of the tragedy with 100% certainty... but my point is that if something that awful can happen, wouldn't you want the people working at similar facilities to be a little more dedicated to their jobs instead of distractions?

    By Blogger vansau, at 12:06 AM  

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