Camp Evidence Review

So I just finished wading through the many free files offered by wonderful debate camps with the help of the fine folks at the NDCA. I'm hardly in a position to criticize, what with all this free evidence we've all been given, but still some things stick out to me that would help the user-friendliness of the NDCA evidence.

Things that are awesome:

  1. When the filename includes the camp, lab, name of file, and side (where applicable)

  2. All of that information on the header/title page as well

  3. When the file works in Open Office. It seems like some templates work great and some look terrible, not sure why.

  4. Standard fonts

  5. That the entire set of evidence fits on a CD this year because people used .doc instead of .pdf. Both formats have ups and downs, but file size is a huge factor for a collection like this

  6. When cards are underlined

Things that are not awesome:

  1. Aff and Neg stuff in the same file

  2. 130 page aff and 10 page case neg. Come on.

  3. Maybe this is in response to the problem above, but DDI seems to have every lab do their own case neg to every other lab's affs. Seems like a huge waste of effort to me

  4. Case neg files without any, you know, case neg in them

  5. There are a few camps (not naming names) that seem to have no quality control whatsoever. If you are going to do play like that, I mean, why even bother having a debate camp?

  6. Bonus: I cannot stand it when people use a macro or whatever to make the text Bold, Underlined, and Bigger font. Seems incredibly arrogant, like nobody is ever going to want to change your precious underlining on this card.


Katie said...

1) I have always hated the DDI system of creating case neg files. I think that competitive (v. cooperative) camp evidence production is largely stupid.

2) The only excuse for the lack of quality control I've seen is that the kids like to see their cards in the file. If you're not printing them all out, and they're in a word doc, it doesn't seem to matter that much. I'd like to know who's especially bad, though, but maybe that's just because I'm nosy.

Ryan Ricard said...

1. DDI (and others, but they are the most obvious example) seem to fashion their camp as a self-contained debate bio-dome. You've got inter-squad rivalries, specific tricks and counter-tricks, etc that all culminate in the camp tournament. I'm not in the position to call it bad or good, but it seems to trade off with preparation for the coming year.

2. Yeah, including a few bad cards in an other-wise good file is one thing (probably inevitable), but I'm talking about when entire *files* seem as though they've never been looked at by an adult.

Also, I just thought of another thing that is not awesome that I'm going to edit into the post.