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The Ragged Says This

Last week we ran a story on how to survive ragging (or hazing) in educational institutions. While we laugh, joke and laugh again, it is in fact not always a laughing matter. This week we bring you a couple of excerpts from those who have experienced hazing from both sides of the fence. We give you the ragger and the ragged.

RAG STORY 1

The unsuspecting me turned a corner. I felt tender hands on my shoulder and heard a modest, “Which batch are you in, bro?” I answered truthfully. The person with the hand said, “Come with me for a bit, please bro.” The hands steered me towards a few others nearby. I caught a glimpse of the hand's face. He was smiling. I smiled nervously back at him. Then I looked at his friends. They glared at me. I continued to smile.

They made me say stuff. I continued to smile.

They told me to wipe off my grin. I couldn't. My face had got stuck. I looked at the hand for some help. He ignored me. I felt betrayed.

They kept me waiting while they talked among themselves. It maximised the pressure: both mental and abdominal. I continued grinning. I shuffled my feet. They called it impudence. I tried to be cheeky in some of my answers. Those attempts were called impudence too.

I was then treated with juice and shingara. I shook hands with the seniors and they stopped glaring. They looked a lot friendly now than before.

***

Looking back, getting ragged wasn't the worst thing happening to me in my freshman year. In fact, it was actually very helpful. Only after getting ragged, did I really feel like I belonged to the place. I got acquainted with the seniors and they helped me with notes. In university, if you don't want to study too hard, that means A LOT.

So, should ragging be continued? Yes, but only up to a certain limit. Crowding around 3-4 freshmen with a battalion of 50 raggers is definitely mark of cowardice, stupidity and lameness. If you don't have the guts to do a proper rag, get ragged yourself first. Your education is incomplete.

By Ero Senin

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RAG STORY 2

Your know what is the best thing about being sophomores? You're not at the bottom of the food chain anymore! And how do we celebrate it? By carrying out the long-standing tradition of ragging the unfortunate group of people called freshmen.

Getting the freshmen together for that auspicious day had been the hardest thing we had to do. In order to ensure a full house, we got them a cake. Then we went on with our business.

We made fun of the fat, the thin, the bald, the bad dancers, and the badass dancers. We made them compete against each other and drove a wedge in the cracks of unity. But standing in the room full of people with no one to fall back on but themselves, they learnt to count on each other. There were fruits (they danced with them), dirty songs (they danced to them) and balloons (you really don't want to know). At the end, the cake was cut, most of which was devoured by the raggers. Naturally, ragging can be very stressful.

With the recent issues concerning ragging and its implications, I have to say, if it is done in good humour, it does not hurt anyone. Of course humour changes perspective from person to person, but it also brings people together in ways they never thought it could. To the raggers: keep a level head and don't go overboard.

By Nazia Zebin


Multiplayer and Online Gaming in Bangladesh

What with the dismal state of Bangladesh's internet connections and only vague promises of a Digital Bangladesh (besides the Doel laptops), one could safely assume that most teenagers would stay away from online gaming. Then one would be wrong, because the online gaming community in Bangladesh is constantly expanding, at an incredible rate.

Counter Strike started it all. It was easy to get used to, had a huge online following abroad, and didn't require much in terms of PC hardware to run smoothly. All you needed was a decent internet connection and you'd be off.

Mohammad Istiaque, a young student/regular gamer, says, “The online community is very big, of which I am part of. The Counter Strike community has about 100 members from Dhaka, and there are also many guys entering the community regularly. CS gamers started playing around 2004, when the game was first released.”

Both Istiaque and Sadman Shawmik, an O level student, says Link-3 is the best net connection for online gaming, and that they're happy with the speeds they get. When asked if fast internet speed is vital for online gaming, Sadman says, “Actually speed isn't really a limiting factor for online gaming, as long as the pings are low, the game runs smooth.”

Along with Counter Strike, a recent addition to the roster of popular online games is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Although not as PC specification friendly as Counter Strike, Call of Duty gives players access to modern weapons and a more immersive experience, with its more detailed maps and varied locations. The game's popularity as a single player is also making more people move on from Counter Strike to Call of Duty.

When asked which is more fun, online or multiplayer (LAN, co-op, split screen), another regular gamer, Fahad, says that both are equally addictive, but online is more fun since it involves more interaction between the players. Sadman, talking about the experience of playing with strangers online, says, “In my opinion, it's fun. Actually I get bored while playing with my friends, so I sometimes get into the foreign servers that I have low pings with and play with random people.”

In terms of the number of online gamers, our neighbouring country India has us beat by a long shot. It's not really a bad thing though, as another gamer explains, as it keeps the community close, where players know each other and don't resort to unfair means to win matches. There are still one or two bad apples though; sometimes players use cheats and mods to enhance their chances. This is another reason why Counter Strike is slowly phasing out, as the sheer number of mods and cracks available make it an easy game to cheat on.

Warcraft is another game that is as old as Counter Strike in the online community. Along with Blizzard's other hit, Starcraft, Warcraft has literally taken over lives with its addictive gameplay and easy interface. Unlike FPS's (First Person Shooters), Warcraft online requires more planning and strategic execution than spur of the moment teamwork. In DotA [Defense of the Ancients, a real time strategy game based on Warcraft III], team co-ordination and understanding plays a vital role. Additional, over the past year, a few people have started playing World of Warcraft, the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, phew!), but it's pirated (the original has a subscription fee) and there aren't enough players right now. It's growing, though, so it might be worth checking out.

Gaming online may not seem very appealing to a regular Joe, but once you're immersed, it's hard to let go. Most gamers seem to agree to the sentiment that once you go online, you'll give up single player gaming. If you're interested in joining this community, a quick search over the net will provide forums dedicated to online gamers. Ask around, grab a game, and play!

By Shaer Reaz

 

 

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