Why Electronic Arts has proven it can’t be trusted to self-regulate

Pictured here, a EA lootbox from Star Wars: Battlefront II.

 

Why Electronic Arts has proven it can’t be trusted to self-regulate

By Henry Veloso

 

On July 19, 2019, Kerry Hopkins, vice president of legal and government affairs for the American game development company Electronic Arts (EA) testified before a UK Parliament hearing in defense of EA’s use of lootboxes in their video games. Digital items purchasable with real money, lootboxes can be redeemed to give players a randomly generated reward, which may either affect their gameplay or their characters’ appearances.

 

When Hopkins told the UK Parliament that lootboxes were not a form of gambling, but instead were completely legal “surprise mechanics”, it resulted in a PR disaster of epic proportions for EA. Hopkins’ response has been widely mocked on the Internet, both by mainstream news outlets like Polygon and Kotaku, and by members of online communities like Know Your Meme. These individuals were incensed by not only lootboxes’ clear nature as a form of gambling, but EA’s Refusal to acknowledge customers’ dissatisfaction with having to pay real money for an uncertain reward. However, this incident is only the latest in a string of controversies regarding EA’s use of lootboxes in games.

 

In 2017, EA was the center of a massive controversy regarding their game Star Wars Battlefront II, in which players control iconic Star Wars characters to fight against one another. Reddit users calculated that assuming no other items were purchased, it would take approximately 40 hours of gameplay to unlock characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. However, if players paid $80 for a lootbox, they would have a chance to those characters, though as per the nature of lootboxes they might instead unlock a slightly more efficient sidearm.

 

EA’s response to Reddit users’ complaints, claiming that they intended “to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment” when unlocking new characters, was also met with widespread derision, becoming the most downvoted post in Reddit history. The controversy spiraled far beyond EA’s ability to control it, to the point where Disney executives called EA to discuss the damage their actions were inflicting on the Star Wars brand. Eventually, EA made the decision to remove all microtransactions from Battlefront II at launch, but they had already kickstarted an international discussion on the ethics of lootboxes.

 

This is not the first time video games have been forced into the public eye due to controversy. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, video games were heavily criticized for their frequent inclusion of violent content. This eventually culminated in the establishment of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, which serves to rate games based on the degree of mature content present in them.

 

Given history’s propensity to repeat itself, the present controversy surrounding lootboxes could culminate in the establishment of a new international organization dedicated to policing microtransactions in gaming. While government regulation is by no means a panacea, and may at times serve to exacerbate the issues they regulate, Electronic Arts has repeatedly proven itself unable or unwilling to recognize the errors in its current business methodologies. To allow them to continue to perpetuate practices that exploit consumers is not only irresponsible, but downright unethical.

Spider-Man Goes to London

Spider-Man Goes to London

Movie Review by Nathan Pham

 

Most people envision a Fourth of July celebration as fireworks and maybe a summer barbecue signifying the importance of independence more than 200 years ago. No matter how great a Fourth of July celebration is however, it isn’t complete without watching Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Far From Home is a must-see movie that surpasses nearly every movie watcher’s standard, defining the very essence of any Spidey movie. So far, this summer blockbuster has made $580 million dollars over the opening weekend. On the Fourth of July alone, the movie generated $185 million, easily surpassing other releases such as Toy Story 4 or The Dead Don’t Die

Director Jon Watts is no stranger to the Spider-verse. In fact, he directed the prequel, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Watts clearly worked to incorporate stunning life-like costumes, a fabulous score, and an unpredictable plot. 

The costumes were replicated in stunning detail, including Spider-Man’s custom suit and Quinton Beck’s futuristic body armor. Other minor characters were outfitted in equally great attire as well, bringing the movie a more realistic feel.

In addition, Far From Home’s soundtrack was perfect for the movie. Just like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home features Michael Giacchino’s Spider-Man theme songs and remixes of previous tunes. Whenever Giacchino isn’t highlighted, perfectly fitting tunes fill the scenes. “The Devil’s Wall,” an opera-like piece by Bedřcih Smetana, was a perfect fit for a scene in which Peter and his classmates were at an opera house. However, the opera singer’s high and joyous voice compared to the serious mood Peter had when he  leaves to become Spiderman turns hilarious.

The Sony Pictures film showcases our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, who returns for… just a friendly Europe trip with Ned and a new crush, MJ. But Peter Parker’s plan of leaving behind his heroics is quickly foiled. With the coercing of Nick Fury and helpful aid of a new superhero, Mysterio, Spider-Man fights to uncover the mystery of elemental attacks wreaking havoc across the world.

While the director played a key role in creating the great movie, it was also the actors and their skill that contributed to such an amazing movie. Returning as Spider-Man again, Tom Holland played the role of the teenage kid Peter Parker. Holland was clearly the perfect choice for Far From Home, with his fluid spider-like movements and superb acting about his feelings for Tony Stark’s death and his genuine love for MJ. And Zendaya, the actress herself for MJ flawlessly captured a pessimistic, observant, snarky girl in love with Peter Parker. Lastly, Jake Gyllenhaal did an exemplary job of acting Quinton Beck. Gyllenhaal made sure to express Beck’s passionate anger against Tony Stark, and kindness towards Peter Parker, all while making sure that even cheesy lines actually sounded intelligent.

Far From Home sets itself apart from other Spider-Man movies by showing how Peter Parker combats the forces of evil outside of his neighborhood (excluding Avengers: Infinity Wars when Spider-Man leaves Earth). Our iconic red and blue suit Spider-Man is replaced with a black “Night Monkey” who saves the day for the Brits. 

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Cakes and sweets on display at Mad Hatter’s on Main Street in Durham. (photo by Nathan Pham)

 

The Mad Hatter’s Cafe and Bakeshop in Durham has been serving up sweet treats, meals, and drinks for regulars and locals for more than 30 years. 

Review by Nathan Pham, Brice Dickerson, Mara Pirone, and Henry Veloso

You’d think a cafe named after the Mad Hatter would be covered with crazy colors and designs, or maybe blasting music. However, the Mad Hatter’s Cafe and Bakeshop  in Durham is designed with neutral black and gray colors with a low underlying classical tune surrounding the air. With the smell of baked goods wafting around, the clean contours and cool lighting offer a soothing respite from the summer heat.

The Mad Hatter’s design can be explained by its unique history. It was once an indoor auditorium, a baseball diamond in the 1920s and a filling station in the ’50s. Eventually, the space was renovated into a dining restaurant in the ’90s. It sold hats as a tribute to the eccentric rabbit in Alice and Wonderland. Today, Mad Hatter’s is a cafe, bakeshop, and restaurant aiming to serve local and sustainable produce to hungry Duke students and regulars.

While the Mad Hatter’s interior design gives a fresh vibe that is relatively uncrazy, the sheer volume of desserts clearly expresses what is mad about the cafe. Mad Hatter’s specializes in various desserts, including creamy cupcakes, warm brownies, newly-baked muffins, buttery croissants, seasonally themed cookies, as well has custom cakes for birthdays or weddings. All of these pastries and desserts are displayed near the entrance, making of the customer’s mouths water.

In addition to its many desserts, Mad Hatter’s offers an all-day menu you would expect in a restaurant. The all encompassing menu boasts citrus crab cakes, fried goat cheese salad, fish tacos, and even wasabi salmon wraps. For drinks, the Mad Hatter’s offers a wide range of teas to mango slushies (called “Mango Madness”), and a special side of the day, which changes daily for fresh new tastes. Most foods cost around $6 to $12, and the drinks are relatively cheap and range from $2 to $4. The most you’d need would be $15 to buy anything on the menu plus a side coffee or pastry.

What is truly appealing about the Mad Hatter’s is not the food nor the design, but the strong foundation on customer service. In fact, regulars who used to frequent the cafe as kids sometimes return as adults. 

“We get to know a lot of our customers,” said Stephanie Bernie, assistant manager at the cafe.

Newer customers, such as Abel Zukermann, a first-time visitor to the Mad Hatter’s from the Duke Young Writers’ Camp, delighted with his customer experience at the Mad Hatter’s. As he enjoyed a colorful fruit salad, he commented on the low volume of music and local artwork on the walls. 

Mad Hatter’s intriguing modern design, fresh, local foods and desserts, as well as a quality customer experience has also led to it winning several awards from the local magazine, the Indy, which annually spotlights Mad Hatter’s as one of the best cafes in the Triangle. 

As an award winning cafe, the Mad Hatter’s is a must visit for a quick coffee or even a cool workspace. 

 

Name : The Mad Hatter’s Cafe and Bakeshop

Location: 1802 West Main Street, Durham NC 27705

Hours:  Monday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.    Sunday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

https://www.madhatterbakeshop.com/

 

Defining Sound Through Silence

Comic book-style onomatopoeia words split as part of Christian Marclay’s Surround Sounds. (photo courtesy of Nasher Museum of Art)

By Brice Dickerson 

Surround Sounds, Christian Marclay’s current exhibit at the Nasher Museum is far from loud. 

Passing the photosensitive epilepsy warning, inside a tall and spacious room, a whirlwind of phonetic, comic-book-style action words dance over four walls.  Words like “BOP” and “VIP” jump in and out of existence in vibrant swarms. “KABOOM” flashes and covers the entire screen flooding the dark room with light. “KRACK” splits and crumbles while vowel sounds fall from the sky.  

Marclay is well known for his work The Clock,  a 24-hour montage of scenes of clocks from movies that also tells time. It gained popularity after it was first shown at the White Cube gallery in London in 2010.

For his Nasher exhibit, Marclay uses onomatopoeia words cut from comic books: bright and expressive words that sound like their meanings. He created the piece over one year by sifting through thousands of comics in his London home, cutting them out to use as players in his symphony.

 “I wanted to try to create a piece of music,” Marclay says. 

 He uses these in a loud and in-your-face way to impart to the observer the sounds through our memories of them. Marclay notes silence is  much more powerful because in silence we can think about sound. The visual movements of the phrases are a tactile and tangible expression of their sounds. It’s loud and dizzying with no noise. 

At around fourteen minutes, Surround Sounds is a complicated word-waltz of quiet players. The exhibit utilizes the visitors “memory of noise” to hear through a combination of their memory and their eyes to create a story. 

“Absence is a void to be filled with one’s own stories,” Marclay said in a 1997 interview. 

Surround Sounds is aggressive and physical. The four-walled immersion creates an overpowering sense of force through its visuals. The phrases become characters themselves, with depth beyond their letters and sounds. 

Surround Sounds is open from March to September, on loan from the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York.

The Nasher Museum is located on Duke University’s west campus in Durham, NC.

Hours of Operation: The Nasher is open six days a week, closed on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for non-Duke students with an ID.

Dasan Ahanu Speaks to Duke Young Writers’ Camp

By Brice Dickerson, Nathan Pham, Mara Pirone, and Henry Veloso

Spoken word poet, educator, and artist Dasan Ahanu speaks to Duke Young Writers’ Camp during 2019 Session II.

Poet and educator Dasan Ahanu was the guest speaker at Duke Young Writers Camp during its second session. He read and performed his poetry, led a writing activity, and answered questions from curious young writers.
The 6-foot, 7-inch spoken word artist gestured with his hands in the air, passionately expressing his poems. Campers snapped in appreciation.
In one of his poems, he used his fear of spiders as an analogy for racism and xenophobia. He cleverly wove in a universal distrust and fear of spiders as a parallel to unfounded racism towards unfamiliar people. In another poem, he used abstract imagery to describe his insecurity of crying comfortably.
“I want to make people both think and pay attention,” Ahanu told the camp.
Ahanu likes to write while listening to music without lyrics. To stay inspired, he listens to John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and the Gershwin brothers. Monk uses empty space and dissonance in the same way Ahanu might compose a poem.
“Everything becomes part of this world of writing,” said Ahanu.
He recalled a former teacher’s words that music was the closest thing they would ever get to sorcery.
Ahanu utilizes a unique writing technique to produce his work. He likes to begin a poem with an abstract thought, typically music or a recent conversation. He also mentions that he takes out his notebook or phone for notes as soon as he comes across an interesting idea.
“If I don’t catch it then, I’ll never know when it’ll come back,” Ahanu explained.
He begins his poems on his composition notebook plastered in stickers. Afterward, he types up a rough draft for editing. While Ahanu has become more device-oriented, using apps like Evernote and Google Drive, he still enjoys taking out a pen and paper to write.

Years ago, during a reading at Chapel Hill, a graduate student pulled him aside and asked if that was all he had planned to write. Much of his previous writing had focused on himself and his own experience.
“It was all stream of consciousness; it was all very satirical,” he said.
This graduate student changed his thought process with a careful question. She believed in his potential past his introspective writing.
“The way she did it was intentional and compassionate,” Ahanu said.
In addition to being a poet, he is also an educator, mentor, emcee, and community activist. Recently, he’s been testing the waters of screenwriting. He’s been interested in sci-fi and fantasy since he was little, especially Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.
Although he calls himself a poet, sometimes he struggles with this title. He primarily calls himself an educator or artist in conversations because of people’s perceptions about what poetry is and what it means to them. Once in traffic court, he got out of a speeding ticket when the judge learned that Ahanu was a poet. The judge offered up his own story about his connection to poetry.
“You keep writing, young man,” the judge said voiding his ticket.
Sometimes Ahanu’s work is interpreted differently than what he originally intended, which he enjoys. He loves it when people see something in his work that he didn’t intend.
But he also struggles with the responsibility of writing meaningful responses to events and the expectations of his readers. Ultimately, he comes back to the freedom that he owns as a writer.
“I am in control of what I write,” he said.
Ahanu plans to release a poetry collection on black life in the South this fall.

To learn more about Dasan Ahanu, go to http://dasanahanu.com/.

Nasher Museum Presents Pop América

Exhibit aims to recognize how Latin American artists played a part in the Pop Art revolution

By Mara Pirone

 

The Nasher Museum of Art’s exhibit, Pop América, gives credit to artists all across Latin America for forming the Pop Art era of the 1960’s and ‘70s.

Throughout the exhibit there are written displays on the wall that describe the history of the exhibit, as well as placards that describe each piece of art. The writing is in both English and Spanish, making it Nasher’s first bilingual exhibit. According to the museum, the show presents how many Latin American artists added to the perception of post- war America as connected, singular, and diverse.

Pop art at this time brought us back to realism, after an era of more abstract art. Artists adopted images of everyday objects, and things they saw in the media and advertising. The art in the display varied greatly from paintings to sculptures to clothing to movies to postage stamps. As you walk through the show, you can also listen to a corresponding album on spotify. Headphones are three dollars at the front desk.

“Caja no. 25495” by Felipe Ehrenberg, a Mexican artist, is a 3D, mixed media piece with varied heights and textures. Painted on the boxes are three human figures. Two have similar poses and color, as well as being in the same place. The third figure shares its box, separate from the other two figures, with the number 25495. It is also one of the only details in the piece that is not one of the three primary colors. Another interesting feature of the work is a circular cut out of the piece that has a gold glitter circle inside it.

“Mi Mama y Yo” by Marisol Escobar, an artist born in France and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, is a sculpture of a young girl and her mother sitting on a bench. The girl is solemnly holding up the umbrella for her and her mother while the mom sits and smiles. The bodies of the characters are composed of very simple shapes but still appear realistic, and the shadows cast by the umbrella have an intricate design. In a lot of Escobar’s work she studied the affectation of middle class to upper class families, especially those of women.

“Bang Bang” by Emilio Hernández Saavedra, an artist from Huancayo, Peru, is a portrait of a woman shooting a gun. Based on the colors the artist used in the scene, it seems to be set in a rainy day, and it could remind one of a detective film. According to the exhibit, the piece shows how Pop Art produced a lot of controversy in Peru. Saavedra was accused of plagiarizing other artists in his work, and he responded by using the works of other artists as a new form Latin American art.

At the time Pop Art became popular, many minority groups were brought closer together due to the complex challenges of imperialism and colonial interference by the U.S. and other European countries.  There were many civil rights movements and people started to question what America and freedom truly meant. This was reflected in the arts and many of the works in the gallery showed the view of Latino(a) artists who experienced hardships related to these issues.

According to a display, “Authoritarian regimes dominated, and movements for civil rights for civil rights occupied the streets. Pop Art staged debates over the promise of freedom held out by the promise of freedom held out by the United States and the liberation hopes for these international movements.”

The exhibit runs from Feb. 21 through July 21. The Nasher Art Museum is working with McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas to display the exhibit. It is next moving to the Block Museum at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, from Sept. 21 through Dec. 8, 2019. It also has a related playlist and catalogue.

 

Name: The Nasher Museum of Art, Pop América

Location: 2001 Campus Dr Durham, NC 27705 United States

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM

Thursday – 10 AM to 9 PM (General admission is free all day.)

Sunday – Noon to 5 PM

Monday – closed

Prices: $7 Adults

$5 Seniors (65 and older)

 $4 Non-Duke students with student ID

Website: https://nasher.duke.edu

“Caja no. 25495” by Felipe Ehrenberg and “Bang, Bang” by Emilio Hernández Saavedra — two of the pieces in “Pop América exhibit at Nasher Museum of Art. (photos by Brice Dickerson)

Super Bowl Journalist FaceTimes Aspiring Writers

By: Uma Hebbar and Kayla Luna

It’s every sports lover’s dream to attend the Super Bowl, and Martin Frank was there this year to record and observe every exciting moment.

A sports journalist for The News Journal and Delaware Online, Frank covers the Philadelphia Eagles, a pro football team. Frank spoke to the DYWC journalism class via FaceTime.

“I got into sports writing in college because I grew up into sports. I watched, I played and I always liked writing so I decided one day this would be a great way to combine my two favorite things: sports and writing.”

Frank’s career began when he attended college in Michigan. He did not take any journalism classes but depended on his high school newspaper where he initially learned how to write. He also wrote for his college newspaper, The Michigan Daily, and later for the Ann Arbor News covering local high school sports.

After Frank graduated from Michigan, he got his first newspaper job in Bradenton, Florida, then moved onto other reporting jobs in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware. As his career furthered he began realizing journalism was much broader than just writing. Instead, newspapers require him to post videos, pictures and stories to their websites.

Although he has to post information quickly, Frank has become used to the pressures his job requires. However, he has found ways to time manage the expectations by writing a majority of his pieces during games, timeouts, and commercial breaks so right after a game he can get quotes from the players. Some of his constant updates take place on social media platforms such as Twitter, where he nearly has 6,000 followers.

In addition to the demands there are also benefits and reasons why Frank enjoys his job. Some of them include travelling, attending big games such as the most recent Super Bowl, the anticipation, and the build up before games.

“Other benefits are getting to know the athletes and being able to tell their stories. A lot of them come from very interesting backgrounds whether they grew up in poverty or overcame situations,” he added.

As well as writing sports pieces, sometimes Frank must combine news and sports. He wrote about President Trump cancelling the Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to the White House  because of a controversy over some players not standing for the National Anthem.

Frank told the DYWC journalism class to write as much as possible and in different styles if they desire a career in journalism. He also advised campers to develop video and photography skills.

 

Session Three’s Sensational Spirit

By: Lexi Levine and Caroline Spears

Not a day goes by in Session Three without hearing “SPEAK POET” or an echo of snaps at Readers’ Forum. There is something different about DYWC in late July.

Upper Readers’ Forum for high school campers.
Photo by Lexi Levine

Fifth-year Session Three returning camper Julianna Chen remarked, “There is just a general closeness that you can’t find anywhere else.” She believes the sense of community and inclusivity make up a great deal of the family-like vibe during session three. This energy is apparent all over campus, whether in Readers’ Forum with supportive chants and applause or walks to meals with campers hand in hand.

This sense of community also affects the writing, according to Cullen Allen, a third year Session Three returner. He explains, “We get more in depth with our writing because of this closeness… It’s a just a different environment.”

Readers Forum is routinely packed with people excited to read and share experiences that many would keep private. Even on the first day of Session Three the list of Readers’ Forum presenters was full which doesn’t always happen.

“There is definitely something special in Session Three,”  reports Mitch Cox, who has directed the camp for six years. He calls it a “special vibe” in Session Three, which he believes  leads back to the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak when Session Two was canceled. This led to many campers coming to Session Three instead, causing that session to be the largest session of around one hundred and sixty kids, according to Cox. Ever since 2009, Mitch has noticed a pattern of many returning campers and a big sense of community in Session Three.

Due to the large percentage of returning campers in Session Three, “The people here have a bond that lets us all see who each other are,” Cullen explained.

Longtime instructor Mark Alford thinks the popularity of Session Three could be because it’s the last session offered before campers go back to school, so “this camp is the last exciting thing they do before the summer ends.”

Big Poet Leaves Big Impression On DYWC

By: Lily Rosenberg and Jason Kim

It seems ironic that a man who looks like he could be a lineman for a football team is a poet who describes his younger self as “extremely shy.” You might never know Dasan Ahanu considers himself an introvert from his presence on the stage. Energetic, passionate, and thoughtful, Mr. Ahahu’s performance to DYWC students brought snaps and praise from campers and counselors.

 

“I thought he was great.” says Eli, an upper camper. “He had a unique outlook on life.”

Ahanu was born Christopher Massenburg in Raleigh, North Carolina. His family still calls him Chris, but he said he took the stage name in 1997 to make him feel more confident and artistic. He calls the name “a reference to Native American heritage” on his father’s side of the family.

Ahanu wrote his first poem in second grade, and he recalled developing a serious love for the written word in college, even though he majored in engineering. “I needed that freedom that it could give me to understand my own creativity.” For Ahanu, it’s one without limitations from rhyme and meter. Picture a hip-hop artist dropping rhymes about social injustice.

His poems address racism, inequality, and identity. At a time when many people are frustrated with politics and social issues he says, “We need inspiration and to be reminded of what is beautiful.”

One of the most important things Ahanu focuses on is telling stories by utilizing unconventional structures in poetry (A structure with three haikus followed by a story behind the haiku). When asked by an instructor where he gets inspiration for such great poems, his simple but edifying answer was “life.” While he uses experiences to create his content, Dasan Ahanu mentions that his writing style has been inspired by sitcoms, mystery novels, and action/adventure movies.

The poet claims that he keeps returning to Duke Youth Programs because he is inspired by seeing young artists work. Director Mitch Cox says, “Dasan Ahanu has been an instructor here…he knows the vibe of the camp which is important because it’s such a wide age range to be able to engage everyone.”

When asked about future plans, Ahanu has ambitious plans, “I want to start to build a contemporary art program where multi-genre creativity is the focus.” He also plans to continue sharing his work and creating. He will continue coaching Bull City Slam Team which has placed in many poetry competitions such as the Southern Fried Southeastern Regional Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam.

Duke Young Writers Camp Becomes Increasingly Global

By: Behruz Yusupov, Caroline Steinberg, and Kane Deng

Duke’s East Campus transforms into a mini melting pot each summer.

During session three, DYWC hosted campers from three different continents and 10 foreign countries: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Israel, Korea, Lebanon, Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia.

Campers from left to right hail from Dominican Republic, Israel, Czech Republic, Ohio via S.Korea, China

When Joud Tayeb, a camper from Saudi Arabia, was asked how she discovered DYWC, she answered, “I’ve never heard of this camp actually. I’m part of a two year government program that helps us get into Ivy League schools, and if we do get in, we get a full scholarship. They’re sending us to multiple camps this summer to get a lot of experience and new skills.”

Joud has traveled to multiple camps this summer, along with the rest of the children in the elite program. For her, the greatest part of DYWC is, “Learning about other cultures, and getting to find out about other people…Honestly, media and the internet give you decent information about foreign countries, but not the first hand experience.”

Camper Noa Covo, from Israel, told us, “I found out about this camp because my mom used to work here, I also lived in Chapel Hill for a few years.” Noa is already planning to return to DYWC next summer.

“I’m having so much fun at this camp, and everyone is so nice here. I wish I could live here!”

Jake Rosenbluth, a four-year camper from New York, claims, “I think that having campers from different countries and states (23) definitely brings another level of diversity to the camp…The way people live their lives in Massachusetts versus California versus Saudi Arabia is a totally different experience. When you bring all of them together, I think it creates a really great community because you’re able to build off each others’ ideas.”

Rosenbluth estimates, “Over the past four years, I think the number of states and countries (represented) has remained about the same, but what I will say is that there have been increasing numbers of people from each place because the word has spread.”

Mitch Cox, the director of DYWC, did not have statistics available if there’s an increase in students attending from outside North Carolina.