Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Dungeons and Dragons

Great article on Dungeons and Dragons in today’s Boston Globe. I never played D&D but alot of my best guy friends did. There is much truth in what the author, Peter Berbergal, says about the people who played it. They were smart, witty, clever, and a bit off the beaten path. What marbles and other "brain games" did for generations past, he argues D&D did for his generation. Today’s smart kids will find something equally fascinating, I am sure. No reason to be overly concerned about the plethora of video games, etc.

Discussions - 7 Comments

Some would argue that that a/the major factor to ADHD is the plethora of visual/auditory stimuli provided by electronics and mass media.

To say that there’s no reason to be overly concerned [about video games] seems a bit optimistic, especially when one considers the lack of discipline many parents exercise over their children.

On second thought -- Julie might have a point. Understanding that an essential and effective treatment regimen for "ADHD" should include periodic applications of force to the backside of the afflicted, it’s this lack of discipline we should be concerned about, and not how bleary-eyed our children are after watching 9 straight hours of this, while simultaneously playing this.

I was a big D&D player back in high school, and I still have friends who play from time to time. In fact, my first contact with the Christian Right was when a local church group tried to shut down our D&D club, arguing that the game promoted devil-worship. Hmm, I wonder if that’s where my tendency toward libertarianism comes from....

Of course the phenomenon is not a game, but a series of books . . . Harry Potter. John’s mention of the Christian Right’s reminded me of it. Smart kids today just love these books. Maybe that’s the new D&D. I do not worry too much about the video games because as "abaxaba" pointed out, it’s not the games but the parents who screw up these kids. At least if they have the video games these kids will have good hand/eye coodination. The military loves this.

D&D is still alive and well, even in my generation. (I am 23, and started playing 10 years ago, in the 90s.) D&D and the fantasy books closely associated with it are great for expanding the imagination and one’s vocabulary. I have sometimes used words from the game and books - that I believed fairly mainstream - that were unknown to the average literate American. The game does promote intelligence.

I’m a strong conservative (which might be off the beaten path for half of this country), and a "born-again" Christian (actually, I believe that term is redundant) who plays D&D, and I often attest to the innocence of the game to those who have misconceived its design and purpose. I didn’t read the Globe article, but thanks for putting out some more info on a game that has been put in a bad light for a long time.

It’s been my experience that most Harry Potter fans (of Adult age) find Tolkien to fill his pages with needlessly long words and his prose with structures too complex. Maybe some of you agree, but I never had trouble with his novels (his Histories of Middle Earth, on the other hand, are written in a poetic form that inspires my attention to wander...And I sometimes can’t stand Christopher’s style...).

D&D, and other (IMO better) Role Playing systems are still alive and well. When I was in early High School, the group I was most able to have "intelligent" conversation with (excepting some adults) were the RPers. RPing is more abundant in collage, as is intelligent conversation (separate but non-exclusive groups of people).

You might also look at CCGs/TCGs (customizable card games or collectable card games / trading card games) to find people with statistical minds...

As always, I’m utterly stunned to find out that I’m not the only conservative RPG geek in the world.

Worth mentioning: Gary Gygax blames 60 Minutes and CBS for the game’s bad reputation during the 80s. Apparently, they rearranged his answers in an interview with some selective editing. Kind of nice to know they’ve kept their standards over the years.

I’m also another conservative rpg player and author. A game of interest for the conservative minded is "Delta Green", an X-Files style game by the (unfortunately liberal) author John Tynes.


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