D&D at thirty

A couple decades ago, my friend’s dad derided our obsession with Dungeons & Dragons, referring to the game as “garbage.” We didn’t mind. We were used to that sort of reaction. In retrospect, the alarm and consternation the game caused among parents is laughable. Some found the subject matter (a pagan world of monsters and magic) a threat to the morals and values of their children. I’ve always maintained that the act of sheer creativity that went into playing the game, even as badly as we played it, stimulated a need in me to tell stories. An article in the Boston Globe has a similar view:

Our influence is now everywhere. My generation of gamers — whose youths were spent holed up in paneled wood basements crafting identities, mythologies, and geographies with a few lead figurines — are the filmmakers, computer programmers, writers, DJs, and musicians of today.

Sometimes I think that if I hadn’t been an avid gamer in my youth I wouldn’t be where I am today. I might have a respectable job. I might have a nice car. A decent life insurance plan. The rest of my life mapped out in front of me…

About the author: will

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