North Carolina cuts the cards

Here we go again; another state legislator has decided to take on the game industry. This time, it's North Carolina, and the target is--solitaire?

Instead of the usual concerns about games turning the nation's youth into a gang of trained killers, Republican Sen. Austin Allran is worried that state employees are frittering away valuable work time playing solitaire, "Minesweeper" and the other little games that come with recent versions of Windows.

Under the terms of Allran's No Games on State Computers, currently awaiting a committee hearing, department heads in state government would be responsible for ensuring that all PCs within their purview are free of "any computer game program not required for the official business of the agency."

Allran told the Charlotte Observer that card games alone account for millions of dollars in lost productivity each year. "You can walk down the hall and see bored state employees with solitaire on their computer screens," said Allran, whose other legislative efforts this year include a bill designating an official state barbecue festival.

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    David Becker
    covers games and gadgets.

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