Arizona Police Investigate Super Mario-Styled Box

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Very immature, considering the recent events in Boston. Don't get me wrong, if it was a few weeks ago I'd find it hilarious. But bearing in mind how distressed people are, it just gives gamers a bad name.

Captcha: I'm Batman.XD

So one totally conspicuous cardboard box lying in the middle of the street is all it takes for a neighbourhood to be evacuated?
I mean I know there was a recent bombing attack but COME ON!

It's kind of sad that all you have to do to waste the time of a block full of people and some tax dollars worth of official bomb fodder experts is paste a question mark on a box and leave it in a street. Does this mean the terrorists have won?

"Some messed up person that was trying to scare everyone"? Or a gamer trying to make a joke? Yeah what kind of sick freak would put paper in a box.

Yeah, this is more about the fear of anything strange than video games references. I would say if this paralyzed a community, than the terrorists win (just like in Counter Strike).

Squilookle had it right. What is our history of bomb attacks disguised as cultural novelty items?

None. Nothing. Nada.

We use car bombs. Our mail bombs look like mail. We don't even pack bombs into stuffed animals.

And... no kid has ever died from Hallowe'en candy given by a stranger. (Given by their own parents, on the other hand...)

238U

This wasn't very big news here (ASU student). Also it's around Finals time, so more than likely it wasn't even college students, although it very well could be. More than likely some kids were playing MarioKart 64 and thought to themselves "Let's do it in real life", slapped some question marks on a box, and had went to hit it with their car only to have the police arrive before they finished going through with it.

While this should obviously seem like a prank, all of the recent events in Massachusetts would put me a bit more on edge too. That's clearly somewhere on the edge of Tempe as well. None of the houses around the immediate vicinity of ASU are that nice.

Also as an ASU Engineering student, I take offense to those that say that NONE of us go to school to learn. :P

The timing on this was really just shit, no matter how you splice it.

Guess the terrorists achieved exactly their desired effect. People are now terrified of cardboard boxes on the streets.

erttheking:
The timing on this was really just shit, no matter how you splice it.

I agree the timing was terrible, but can we not also agree that, regardless of timing, this is pretty damn funny? it's in bad taste I know, but I had to laugh, the only thing that would've made this funnier is if it were also a jack-in-the-box, preferably with a mushroom

To be fair, this isnt some great attack against gamers. Honestly, considering what just happened int he US in the past week or so, this is probably the worst time to just place one of these down for a joke. Im not saying the world has to stop and revolve around the US when an attack happens or we shouldnt be so paranoid, but really, lets just give this a two weeks notice time before doing this.

though even without that happening, I dont find it particularly amusing. then again I've been in enough near accidents because of inattentive drivers, hazards on the road, and just general pranks (no kid who shot my windshield with a paintball or person who threw a bucket of water as I was driving, I didnt find it the least bit funny and I desperately hope you get yours, fucking shits -_-) to have all the sense of humour drained out of me when it relates to driving. So maybe I'm just cynical.

besides... aside from the question marks it doesnt even look like a mario box. it wouldnt be my first thought of i saw this on the road that its mario related.

ObsidianJones:
The first successful attack on our soil since 9/11. That means something to people.

To me, I'd say it means you've excluded a few other successful attacks.

However, in regards to your main pint you are of course right. Imagine if there was a bomb in it, and the police didn't bother to take it seriously because it looks like a joke.

There would be outcry, it'd prove forever (or at least a week) that Americans, US police, gamers were dangerously stupid, people from other nations would be scoring points of them forever. Oh, and yeah, quite possibly a bunch of people would die.

If nothing else, treating probably hoaxes seriously is good practice for when it isn't a hoax. If there's a problem, better to find out about it with an unscheduled not-exercise.

...

Actually, imagine if there still wasn't a bomb in it, but police didn't take it seriously. I daresay a fair few people would (quite rightfully) be complaining.

As an aside, I'm glad I'm not a member of a bomb squad.

I imagine it was probably on purpose, to get exactly this sort of reaction and cause a panic over nothing, to highlight how paranoid and fearful our society is. Yeah bombings are horrific and devastating events, but as with all incidents of mass violence they're actually incredibly rare. And all in all, this is a better way of making an argument than using actual explosives.

But I have to ask, how could anyone spin this as the fault of gaming? Would it be better if it was simply a box, in no way resembling something from a game? Terrorists and mass shooters can come from all walks of life, and if many of them happen to be gamers, that only means that gaming has proliferated through a very large portion of our society, nothing more.

Pyrian:

Gilhelmi:
...the IED was hidden in plain sight, disguised as something "Normal".

That would be typical, no? As opposed to being not-at-all-hidden, in plain sight, and "disguised" as something noteworthy and out of the ordinary? Do you panic every time you see any ordinary object that could conceivably conceal a bomb? Because that would be a much more sane reaction to evidence than panicking over unusual objects - given that unusual objects specifically built to attract attention pretty much never conceal bombs.

Actually, there are IEDs that are not hidden at all. See the enemy places a bomb by the side of the road EXPECTING it to be found. Then one of two things could happen.

One, the bomb is found, EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) comes and removes the device, with no incident. The enemy does this to gather intelligence on how we react when we find IEDs.

Two, the bomb is found, EOD comes to removes the device, but there is a secondary device that is well hidden in the area where our soldiers are forming a perimeter. Sometimes even after the first bomb is detonated, secondary devices are detonated trying to attack the rescuers or EOD themselves.

So lets put it this way, there really is no such thing as "typical". Because this war is an ever changing 'evolution' of attacks/counter-measures.

I do not panic over every object (heck, guard rails are perfect hiding spots). But when I do see something that is Obviously out of place (There really is no way to describe Obviously, because I would not be able to put into words why that suspicious item is suspicious, but it is just so out of place there. I know this makes no sense, but I have learned to trust my instincts). If I see a box, that has obviously been placed there, especially if there are wires anywhere nearby. I am not going to trust it.

emeraldrafael:
To be fair, this isnt some great attack against gamers. Honestly, considering what just happened int he US in the past week or so, this is probably the worst time to just place one of these down for a joke. Im not saying the world has to stop and revolve around the US when an attack happens or we shouldnt be so paranoid, but really, lets just give this a two weeks notice time before doing this.

though even without that happening, I dont find it particularly amusing. then again I've been in enough near accidents because of inattentive drivers, hazards on the road, and just general pranks (no kid who shot my windshield with a paintball or person who threw a bucket of water as I was driving, I didnt find it the least bit funny and I desperately hope you get yours, fucking shits -_-) to have all the sense of humour drained out of me when it relates to driving. So maybe I'm just cynical.

besides... aside from the question marks it doesnt even look like a mario box. it wouldnt be my first thought of i saw this on the road that its mario related.

No your right. Even though these where just pranks, they were far from harmless. I do not know the exact placement of the boxes (in the road, on side of road?) but either way someone would be looking wondering what that box was instead of paying attention.

At least the paintball prank is no 2nd(?) degree assault (where I live)

SecondPrize:
While it'd be nice if people had a sense of humor, they don't. They just have a sense that terrorists are out to kill them personally.

Ever heard the term "better safe than sorry"? Paranoid as it is, I'd rather fear an empty box than laugh at a bomb. Maybe.

Some people take it to extremes, this much is true. But this is like a Schrodinger's bomb sorta scenario - it's reasonable enough, considering.

Bombs shouldn't look out of place, so we shouldn't consider that out of place things might be bombs? Doesn't that make things that look out of place the ideal place to hide bombs? Vizzini may have been kind of an idiot, but the 'I know you know I know' line of thinking isn't entirely inaccurate.

Andy of Comix Inc:

SecondPrize:
While it'd be nice if people had a sense of humor, they don't. They just have a sense that terrorists are out to kill them personally.

Ever heard the term "better safe than sorry"? Paranoid as it is, I'd rather fear an empty box than laugh at a bomb. Maybe.

Some people take it to extremes, this much is true. But this is like a Schrodinger's bomb sorta scenario - it's reasonable enough, considering.

It's a shame that you're right.

20 years ago there may not have been such a moral panic. But now? Even the most absurd must be treated as if it was the most dangerous.

In light of the Boston bombings, many have said that you would never break the American resolve, as was highlighted by how many ran towards the bombings to help. This is true.

But this is an image of the Western world being held to ransom. And in this example, at least, it is working.

I'm amused.

Gilhelmi:
Actually, there are IEDs that are not hidden at all. See the enemy places a bomb by the side of the road EXPECTING it to be found. Then one of two things could happen.

One, the bomb is found, EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) comes and removes the device, with no incident. The enemy does this to gather intelligence on how we react when we find IEDs.

Two, the bomb is found, EOD comes to removes the device, but there is a secondary device that is well hidden in the area where our soldiers are forming a perimeter. Sometimes even after the first bomb is detonated, secondary devices are detonated trying to attack the rescuers or EOD themselves.

So lets put it this way, there really is no such thing as "typical". Because this war is an ever changing 'evolution' of attacks/counter-measures.

Apparently some military force is currently occupying Arizona and I wasn't made aware. Local soldiers are fighting a war against an invading army who is planting bombs on the side of the road to gather intelligence on response tactics and procedures? Jesus, a lot happened while I was asleep last night.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Ever heard the term "better safe than sorry"? Paranoid as it is, I'd rather fear an empty box than laugh at a bomb. Maybe.

That's not really the dichotomy.

It's more like:

I'd rather choose to live in worry of a billion possible nonthreats every day of my life for the next 50 years, than laugh at some hypothetical bomb that I statistically will probably never come in contact with.

Fear of terrorism is overblown, even in light of the recent attacks. You should be worried about things that actually have a decent chance of killing or hurting you, like smoking or car accidents.

Everyone was just angry because they didn't have any shells to hit it with.

What was on the papers though!

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

Two weeks ago, that probably would have been the case, but after the Boston bombing, I think everyone is going to be a bit on edge for the next few weeks.

You know, I think people are waaaay out of touch here. To me this seems less like a mario referance, than a "Batman" referance since the whole thing smacks of the Riddler's MO more than anything, and actually I'd suspect more people would get that out of it if they are going after geek culture than they would video games.

That said, there is also an "asking for it" element to all of this as well, society has generally been becoming too uptight and paranoid about stupid things, especially given it's unwillingness to single out and act against the specific groups responsible for the sake of political correctness. As a result, something like this baits a police response, and it's just going to encourage phranksters to do more, similar, things for the lulz.

To be honest I'd think the police would still remember the whole "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" promo from a few years back and how that exploded into absurdity and be a little more aware. In general a terrorist or bomber doesn't want his device to be discovered until he/she sets it off. As a result you can typically assume that anything like this is going to be fairly safe... until we see otherwise, or costumed supervillains actually start to appear IRL.

That said one has to wonder what was inside the box. Sure, maybe it was a mushroom, or maybe it was a clue for Batman. Or perhaps someone just happened to have a raffle box fall out of the back of their car which seems to be the most likely situation.

I'm almost tempted to see if I can get a paper mache clown head and put a tape recorder playing maniacal laughter on a loop somewhere just to see how dumb the responses are. :)

I like Papo and Yo too but this is a bit too far.

Seriously it looks exactly like the hint box from that game (can't find a pic on google)

"It's just crazy, a college town like this I wouldn't think that something like that would happen"

lol @ not expecting anything and everything to happen in a college town

also people are just too bomb scared. nobody's going to use a golden box with question marks on the side to hide a bomb because hiding in plain sight doesn't work with bombs, as evidenced here.

Okay, people here seem to have no idea how the world works. People call in suspicious objects to the police all the time. It is what you are supposed to do in that situation.

The only reason this one got on the site was because of it's resemblance to a gaming icon. They would have done the same thing if there wasn't a giant question mark on the box. The fact that Boston happened does not change the this story except that it probably helped propel it to the front. And you know what? There have been plenty of times when suspicious objects have been called in and it was something to be concerned about.

If Boston hadn't happened and there wasn't a question mark on the box, this would be a non-story. It would have been titled, "The Police Did Their Job Today"

And now that I look at it, in some places the police doing their job would be enough for a headline >_>

Congratulations idiot that put th box out. You were just put on WTFIWWY. If you planned to do this the you should have rescheduled. Idiot.

Nintendo really chose a bad time to try out their new Mario viral marketing campaign.

vid87:
I wonder how police would've reacted if the box contained a fire-flower?

Based on anecdotal evidence I'm guessing their uniforms would have changed color and they'd suddenly have the power to throw fireballs.

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

It's mostly an American thing. We're pretty paranoid, though to be fair we have more reason to be than most other developed countries. Also there's the timing, I assume you pay attention to the news.

When did we start treating every random art installation as a bomb?

This could have been a KID playing in the STREET for all we know.

"It's just crazy, a college town like this I wouldn't think that something like that would happen," Maybe that's because nothing like that DID happen! THERE WAS NEVER A BOMB. Saying "I'm afraid of things I don't understand," doesn't make there retroactively have BEEN a bomb, or half of a bomb, or even a papier-mâché sculpture of a Bob-omb! CITY OFFICIALS IMAGINED A BOMB.

"I'm glad that it was probably some messed up person that was trying to scare everyone instead of a real thing" No. Nobody was TRYING to scare you. You scared yourselves. Stop DOING that. It's a fucking BOX. It's a piece of cardboard with some fucking paint on it. IT WAS NEVER DANGEROUS, AND ANY NORMAL PERSON WOULD NOT BE AFRAID OF IT.

"but that shows you it can happen anywhere," I agree. Idiots can interpret a child's toy as a credible terrorist threat anywhere.

What is *wrong* with you people!? SERIOUSLY. IT'S A BOX!

And once again, I feel the need to tell the author of this opinion piece that GAMERS are not the problem here! This should not reflect badly on GAMING. It SHOULD reflect badly on the government officials who can't recognize a fucking art project when they see it. Stop giving the other side, the side that wants to ban all games, stop giving them ammunition by pretending that their point of view is reasonable. It is not. And you SHOULD know that it is not.

I hope none of these yahoos in the Arizona government ever happen to walk past a grade school around Valentine's Day. They'll see the kids' shoeboxes with construction paper hearts taped on the sides and be all like "OH GOD! BOMBS! BOMBS EVERYWHERE!"

raankh:
Isn't that obviously a prank? Not everyone would consider a box in the street cause for alarm. I'd call that a bit paranoid even. If you want to see terrorists everywhere, I suppose it makes sense though.

I wouldn't even call it a prank. Is it a prank when someone draws flowers on the sidewalk in chalk? This was pretty obviously intended only for decoration.

You can't even call it graffiti, because the materials involved were completely biodegradable. At worst, it's littering.

I suppose the next logical step is to ban all Christmas decorations. Because if you put a paper-wrapped box in a public location, you're apparently deliberately causing a bomb threat now.

That is hilarious! =D

I mean, I can understand why they took it seriously and I'd except them to. I'd probably be annoyed if I had to leave my house (if I wasn't planning on going anywhere that is) but just hearing about it - this has made my day! XD I can't imagine real terrorists actually disgusing a bomb so... colourfully?

EDIT: It's a bit depressing when you think about the difference between our world and the Mushroom Kingdom.

Mario sees a box - "It's a box! I wonder what's inside? Let's smash it and find out!"

We see a box - "IT'S A BOMB! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!"

Sure am glad I wasn't there. I would have ran up to it and kicked the box into my neighbor's house

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