In praise of Dungeons & Dragons™

How many of us medieval enthusiasts owe our fascination with the Middle Ages to role-playing fantasy games played as a child? Peter Bebergal, writing for the Boston Globe, celebrates D&D's 30 year anniversary.

Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders series, and other works of fantasy inspired a genre of games that transformed a generation in the 1970s. In today's world of pre-configured toys that do just one thing, children are rediscovering D&D, the game that "reinvented the use of the imagination as a kid's best toy."

Thanks to John Toutant from the SCA Newcomers' list who provided the link to the Boston Globe article.

Mmy husband introduced me to

Mmy husband introduced me to rp when we were dating, back in 92. He's been gaming long enough to remember the blue and white paperback D&D too. Gwenhyfar (I am not a geek, I'm a lvl 12 palladin)

I'm also a veteran player

I'm also a veteran player of 20+ years. Got into the SCA wanting that same type of escapism. You get it sometimes and sometimes not. I'm sure there are many SCAdians who are cringing to ever have D&D mentioned in the same sentence as the SCA, even if they played it themselves. It's the usual "I'm not as maladjusted as *they* are" syndrome.

It's not just for kids, either!

It's not just for kids, either!

How many of us still are playing D&D (or some other RPG) as adults? And proudly so? Meeeee!!!!

I was introduced to D&D back in about 1978, when the Players' Handbook was a blue-and-white paperback book. I will never forget how I sat in the Physics classroom, during the break after lunch before the next class period, and killed my first orc. I was hooked!

My parents never understood the game, but they never bought into the "D&D as Satanism" theory, either. As my mother used to tell her friends who raised that issue, "Well, I think it's a silly game, and I don't know what they see in it. But I know that my kids are at home at night, in my basement, rolling dice and writing on paper with kids whose parents are our friends, and they are eating popcorn and drinking Pepsi. I'd much rather have that, than wonder if they're out drinking and driving and taking drugs with hoodlums somewhere."

My gaming has evolved over the years; our adult group is really more of an improvisational theatre troupe than a "game" in the traditional sense. The dice rolling has become incidental to the problem-solving and character interactions. But it's still just as much fun as ever!

D&D doesn't teach kids bad morals. In fact, D&D teaches teamwork, cooperation, leadership skills, problem-solving, and multi-cultural tolerance (elves and dwarves can get along, so why not people of different races?). It's all about courage, and honor, and loyalty to your friends, and great quests to fight evil.

Justin
Proudly still playing AD&D after 25 years