+2 to Diversity; Social Aspects of a Famous RPG

For a brief description about D&D, read “Freaks, Geeks, and the Role Playing Subculture

Dungeon and Dragons (or by its abbreviated name, D&D) is a tabletop RPG (Role Playing Game) that introduces an extensive fantasy theme. From slaying the notorious dragons to goofing off with your fellow comrades at dwarven bars, this vast gaming system has provided entertainment for almost 40 years.  Despite the taboo surrounding D&D (particularly the 1980’s when it was wrongly accused of be linked to witchcraft, devil worship etc.) it has instead developed into a mainstream gaming platform enjoyed by a variety of people.

The first thing you think of when you hear Dungeons and Dragons may be a group of stereotypical nerds, dressed robes and capes, situated around a small table with a smorgasbord of dice, and that does occasionally happen. For the most part though, a group can consist of a mixture of personalities and life endeavors. While some players in our group are quieter and use technical strategies, others are out spoken and dynamic about the way they play. In one of our campaigns, our majors consist of two art majors, a math major, two social work majors and a mass communications major. Whatever the case maybe, there’s a strong social aspect present. We are people who communicate with others rather frequently and it’s noticeable throughout our campaign.

In recent years D&D has become very popular. College campuses of all kinds have at least one group of people who play regularly. Online forums are created for attracting and teaching new players to devising stronger characters with fancy stats and abilities. Are wizards and barbarians not your cup of tea? RPG’s have even branched out to include zombie, robots, werewolf, and other different genres. All you need is your character sheet, some dice and an active imagination.

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3 Comments

Filed under Discussion, Free-Form Articles, Uncategorized

3 responses to “+2 to Diversity; Social Aspects of a Famous RPG

  1. Though I’ve never played D&D except once or twice, almost all of my close friends are tightly knit in the D&D community.
    From observing games with friends or being at conventions where the game is played, I’ve always found it interesting looking at the social aspect of the game. In games such as D&D you seem to always form some type of “bond” when playing– even when playing with a more quiet strategic group.
    As you mentioned it has become a major gaming platform– and because D&D is a foundation for most all RPGs, it seems to have almost “set the standard” for these social type games. In these styles of games you seem to learn about different people in a unique way which is fun.

  2. Jared Ebert

    Yasmine,
    My question for you would be what kind of effect does this subculture of RPG’s have upon the mainstream culture? I do agree that these games are often looked upon very negatively but that is most likely due to the fact that mainstream culture is not educated on the subject. When someone like RPG’s come along that present a different kind of social interaction than what is considered mainstream then society’s first reaction is usually rejection of the idea. This can be seen time after time again in American history. If this is the case then the only possibility of this becoming more accepted would be a RPG that invites in a larger crowd and does not scare off so many mainstream citizens.

  3. Eric C. Cox

    This is true it takes all kinds to play D&D. I played when I was teenager for years on end. Now that I am older and am in acedemics I reallized how much skill it takes to play those games. You have to read hundreds and hundreds of pages just to learn the rules. You have to study the paperwork for hours on end. On top of that you have to put some thought into what you are doing. i always used to think, before actually playing the game, it was just for nerds but learned the game is for everybody.
    You get to exercise your imagination and come up with strategies that are all based on probabilities (statistics) according to the dice. Along with that the extensive detail you must pay attention to when you are working your character sheet and the DM (Dungeon Master) is working his or her wonder. No wonder this game has stood the test of time and still is alive and well today. Its popularity among college students, military personnel, and I’m sure there are few government works out there who like to let loose with a campaign or two.
    To really understand the game take a special kind of intelligence, and it is true that is has developed a culture of its own, D&D reached out to many who would not call themselves or be called nerds. I say the game is alive and well today. The current edition of rules are astounding. The collection is enormous and is ever growing. It has truly become a part of American culture.

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