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Computer Games a Threat to Bhutan's New Democracy?

Computer Games a Threat to Bhutan's New Democracy?

The Asian nation of Bhutan has banned members of parliament from bringing laptops to work since they apparently cannot control their urge to play computer games. The lawmakers in the new democracy reject the accusation, saying that their computers are needed and do not distract them from their work. But their protests do not compute with the National Assembly's Speaker credited with the ban, reports BBC.

Eating, smoking, and other electronic gadgets are also banned at the National Assembly. The isolated Himalayan country just got Internet and television nine years ago, and held its first elections last March. A Bhutanese contingency traveled to Washington, DC, this week, with plans to introduce the small Buddhist constitutional monarch to America.

I wonder if she likes computer games, too!

Taktsang monastery at Tiger's Lair, sacred Buddhist cave shrine perched high on cliff.

Schoolchildren performing morning prayers at school assembly in Bhutan.

A Bhutanese polling officer. March, 2008.

Young monks walk back to class after lunch.

Would you rather have a lawmaker who is distracted by computer games, or one who cannot use a computer at all? Do you think motivations for the ban on food and technology, likely to result in less time spent at the Assembly, go beyond innocent? Could a mix-up over computer games shake up this fragile democracy?


Join The Conversation
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
She's baaaaa-aaaaack! Thanks for the keyboard tip.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 8 years
Yeah, Tommy Jefferson said that for sure. Our own Congress doesn't pay attention to what's going on in the House and the Senate, why should any other "democracy?" Have you actually WATCHED C-Span I and II? There's barely anyone there to listen to the ramblings of the legislator in front of the microphone unless perhaps the MainStreamMedia are in attendance. To answer the questions: The laptops might be okay so that legislators can do immediate research on a topic being discussed, but NO GAMES. And NO FOOD, do you know how it screws up a computer keyboard (I do). You can't easily clean a laptop keyboard (although you can run a desk computer keyboard through a dishwasher, placed on the top rack, using water only, at least ONCE, to clean it - use cold water and a pre-wash setting). I doubt that a computer game will be the cause of the downfall of any democracy. There are too many other serious threats to democracy without conjuring up new ones.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
I think there's a quote by Thomas Jefferson that goes: "Any people that trades its government for Tetris, deserves neither."
stephley stephley 8 years
From the article, I got the feeling that when lawmakers weren't eating or playing games, they were emailing each other about what a putz National Assembly Speaker Nima Tshering is.
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