Campus Conversation

GOTCHA! The terror and paranoia continues, but with some new players introduced to the scene. The Master Assassins, a band of anonymous rogues, will now be patrolling the lawns, buildings and other once safe spaces of Amherst College. To the horror of many GOTCHA! players, who, until now, survived in the game by quickly running from building to building, these Master Assassins are authorized to bend certain rules, including the rule about only being able to “get” someone outside. There is nowhere to hide anymore! No place is safe! The paranoia has risen to an all time high!

Before the Thanksgiving break SoCo announced these rules to speed the game along. If you hadn’t “gotten” anyone by the end of Thanksgiving break, then you were blacklisted to be on the Master Assassins’ hitlist. “The reason we did this was because there were people who hadn’t gotten anyone. These people weren’t really playing and we wanted to finish before Christmas break,” said Yvy Rivera ’03, a member of the GOTCHA! committee. “The game was not moving at a good pace.”

A sophomore contestant who asked to remain anonymous to protect himself from getting shot stated, “I think the new rules are fundamentally good, because it seems to me that most of the people playing have been dragging their heels and not going after their targets. I’m hoping it will up the pace of the game a bit.”

With fewer and fewer players, the race for the DVD player and the glory is becoming more and more treacherous and cutthroat.

High on Potter

On Friday, Nov. 16, as many students left campus headed for Bradley International Airport and home for break, a coven of students had a different destination. Not an Amherst delegation to Cuba or a class whose professor had diabolically scheduled a meeting that night, but a pack of Muggles heading down to Cinemark Theatres at the Hampshire Mall for one of a dozen showings of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

“I knew it would be a frenzy because it’s a really, really good book,” said Jade Tam ’04, who bought her tickets several weeks in advance. “It was worth it because J.K. Rowling was directly overseeing the production and that’s the closest we’re going to get to a visual representation of the author’s mind when she wrote the book.”

Nathaniel Reden ’05 took the occasion of the film’s premiere to wear a wizard’s cap around campus on the last day before break. “I only got mostly second glances when walking around,” he said. “I was a little surprised, actually, at how many people knew why I was wearing it.”

The big-screen adaptation of the first novel in J.K. Rowling’s series chronicling the life of young wizard Harry Potter opened on nearly one-fourth of all movie screens nationwide and has made nearly $200 million since its opening night. The movie opened not just the wallets of countless parents across the nation, but also the hearts of both the young and old.

“I had read the first volume of the series, had liked it and was surreptitiously looking for a reason to go the first weekend,” said Professor of French and European Studies Ronald Rosbottom. “I’ve never been in such a large room with so many silent six to twelve year olds, several quoting the lines under their breath. Eerie and fun.”

The magic of the novels has touched many, transforming lives just as Harry’s changed when he first discovered his hidden talents, sans the Hogwart’s Express train and house sorting. Reden, however, wasn’t as pleased with the movie as he was with the campus’ reaction to him. “It was pretty good, but it wasn’t as good as the book,” he said. “Movies hardly ever are.”