The Article No One Wants to Read

Image

 

So this is the post I have tried to not make too soon, but I have to make since I am effected by it personally. This post has to deal with the idea of D&D being “evil” and promoting “satanism”, “occultism” and/or “causing suicides or other crimes”. We have all heard them. You that are older lived it as well, mostly in the 1980s. All of the above claims have been debunked so many times it does not behoove me to reiterate the points made against them. This is more a claim of what is really good about RPGs and role-playing in general. These are just my observations and not indicative of every player’s or GMs view. 

First, and most importantly, I have a major statement to make. I AM DEEPLY RELIGIOUS AND HOLD NO ILL TOWARDS GOD OR CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL. That being said, I hate the fundamentalist line that says if you play Dungeons and Dragons then you are “goin’ to hell!”.

Playing for almost twenty years has taught me many things about RPGs. They are too many to name here, but the most important are: teamwork, math skills and social skills. These three skills are vital in life and were imparted to me during my many hours of gaming.

Teamwork:

If nothing else is learned from games like D&D it is that teamwork overcomes almost any circumstance! How many gamers have learned this lesson? I would hope a lot. The first rule in RPGs is to have fun. The next rule is to work together as best as you can. This increases the fun for everyone else and makes the GMs job so much easier. Having players who try to do everything themselves is boring and doesn’t promote fun. Teamwork is a major life skill to have as well. I have found myself in too many situations that I needed to work as a team. I found it much easier to do with the skills I learned at the game table.

Math Skills:

I learned on the teat of THAC0. That means I learned a lot of basic math from Dungeons and Dragons in particular. I use these said skills every time I turn around. I use them when budgeting my money or when taking a math class in school. I have used them in the professional realm as well. If you didn’t learn in a system like THAC0 then I feel sorry, but you still learned basic math skills, I am sure. Not every game is a calculator masher (looking at Rolemaster here!). 

Social Skills:

I learned how to talk to people and to treat people with respect through gaming. You have to learn when to speak and when to allow others to speak. Yes, I know cross-talk happens and people do talk over each other, but in general you learn how to treat people through these games. I learned how to approach different people through playing with many different people. Hopefully you did too, o reader!

These are just highlights of what I learned at the table. What are some of the things that you learned at the table? How have they helped you in the “Real World”?

 

Image

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Article No One Wants to Read

  1. This is really strange and important to for me to talk about, because in a way, D&D led directly to my atheism. Back in the 1985 my parents made me give up D&D, though they did not directly link to the “satanism” I realized years later this was why. We were a Fundamentalist Christian family, though I didn’t know it at the time. They sat me down one day and told me they were concerned that I was to involved in the game and I was losing touch with reality. My Dad told me he was worried I lived in a world of fantasy, and I couldn’t recognize the difference between what was real and what was imagination. If I didn’t give up the game, they would put me in therapy. My “obsession” with fantasy was wrong and I needed to stop. (I was like most other kids playing the game, “obsessed” in that I read fantasy books, played a fantasy game and hung out with other kids who did the same.) There was no overt talk of “satanism” or devil worship, but the timing (in retrospect) was simply not coincidental The conversation ended with my father telling me, “Son, this magic world you live in is just wrong, these things just don’t exist and you need to recognize that” and then he quoted the Bible !st Corinthians 13:11
    “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” So I gave up the game, at least as far as they knew. I still played, I just didn’t own the books and as soon as I turned 18 I bought the 2nd Edition books and went back to playing.

    But in the back of my mind I just kept asking myself, if my game was pure fantasy, there was no magic, no other world, but everything in the Bible was true…how was one more “true” than the other. It took many years and many struggles with my lack of faith before I realized I didn’t believe in the divine, but under it all, I kept remembering my Father telling me that this fantasy world I adored was this childish, silly thing in which a grown up should put away as a childish thing. After all, if my Cleric could not cast Create Food and Water, because that was a fantasy, then how was Jesus feeding thousands from a few a loaves and fishes any more plausible?

    Obviously, I am not equating these as equal or saying that forcing your kids to give up D&D will make them atheists, just relating an anecdote.. And no, D&D is NOT evil, it is the one thing in my childhood that gave me friends and opened the doors to my imagination and intellect. It did more for ME than any church ever did!

  2. Just a thought… but if you want to talk about the moral implications of gaming, do that. If you want to talk about the practical benefits of gaming, do that. Doing both seems to talk past yourself. In general, people with a moral issue with RPGs do not care if you learn how to add (or spell) polyhedrons.

    • The idea is not to wax philosophical about the moral implications. It is more a realization of things that I have learned over the course of twenty-plus years of playing and game mastering. The best way to think of what I am doing is to show why I feel that those people who think RPGs are bad are wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s