Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Everything I Know I Learned From Dungeons & Dragons"

When I was a kid, the country went through a full-fledged Dungeons & Dragons hysteria, where the fantasy role-playing game was accused of everything from turning kids onto Satanism to encouraging them to kill themselves.

Decades later, we’ve now reached a point where D&D is seen as sort of a harmless, if incredibly geeky pastime.

But isn’t there a third option? Dungeons & Dragons isn’t a dangerous, evil force in the world, nor is it just harmless fun; it’s actually one of the most worthwhile activities ever created, and there is literally nothing better for turning a kid into a thoughtful, creative, passionate, open-minded adult.

—Brent Hartinger, The Torch

(From James)

New to the marginal links: a blog called Grognardia, "an exploration of the history and traditions of the hobby of role playing." From a recent post:

One of the difficulties in discussing old school gaming is that the tradition of treating "D&D" as a very broad term is alive and well. Now, as I said, this practice has deep roots. So too does the practice of claiming that too much deviation from the core concepts of the game -- whatever those may be -- results in one's playing "not-D&D." Consider, for example, the cases of both Empire of the Petal Throne and Arduin. In both cases, you have games that are clearly derivative of OD&D, using not just the same terminology but in many cases the very same mechanics. And in both cases the very conception of what a roleplaying game is shows the clear influence of D&D.



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