Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Just how public is this D&D-ing? Also, is "D&D-ing" a verb? Like, I'm not sure whether to make public the fact that I am indeed participating in this game, or just quietly live a double life as an elven bard.

Is everyone here super proud that they are nerds?

I'm not sure that I can even tell my closest friends and family (well, those that aren't part of this venture).

I'm having some self-identity/esteem issues; please weigh in. Who knew such a life crisis could arise from a game?


Taran said...

Good question, and the answer is, of course, “it depends.” For example, I told my dad about it – and even asked him to read my backstory. He thought it was pretty cool. Of course my dad has also read Lord of the Rings almost as many times as I have, and has the entire set of the Burger King miniature toys they put out when The Fellowship of the Ring debuted (on a side note, I ate a lot of crappy Burger King kids meals that month). So he may not be the best example.

A different example – I told my pastor about it yesterday when I met him for lunch. He thought it was neat. He obviously knows about the game and thinks it would be interesting to play, but isn’t really the fantasy type. He thought it was cool that Julia and I were playing together and we could have fun doing something like that.

I have no problem telling anyone about it because people already expect that of me. I dressed up for the premier of Lord of the Rings for heaven’s sake. This will be harder for you because you’re not already a sci-fi aficionado like me.

This is something new for you, so your family might not be supportive. There may be some backlash. They won’t understand the lifestyle. They will still love you, but some may resent you. “This is just the way I am,” you’ll tell them. But family dinners will be awkward. The first time you bring your girlfriend…wait, we’re not talking about the same thing any more, are we?

Seriously, people will think it’s a little bit weird, because D&D has that stigma attached to it, but unless you’re really worried about the way they perceive you, I’d tell them. You can always just say that you get together with friends to play games every week. People will probably think this is something John dragged you into. It’s important for his sake that you insist you are playing of your own free will.

It will be liberating to tell people. It will be like, “How dare you put me in a box! I am my own person! I will be an elf and play the pan pipes and cast Dazzle on level 2 goblin warlocks if I damn well please!” And then you will know freedom.

I’m not sure how this post got so convoluted, but there you go.

Moonglum said...

I recently told someone at my church and it wasn't received terribly well. The nerd-stigma might be a problem around cool people but the supposedly-demonic-stigma is the main problem that I am running into. =/

Ieuan said...

Wait, people think it's demonic? Are these the same sorts of people that don't let their kids read or watch Harry Potter?

Lord Bolt said...

re: Moonglum

Yes, the same people who think Harry Potter is demonic typically think D&D is demonic. Anything with a demon in it has been characterized at some point with devil-worship, normally by people who are too lazy to think clearly.

re: Taran, Ieuan, and the subject in general.

I haven't told anybody who I didn't think would be interested... which is basically everyone else I know. But then again, who cares about them?

Taran said...

Sigh…it’s funny that my pastor thinks it’s fun and exciting and people at your church are upset about it. I don’t mean that as a judgment, I just think it’s interesting that there’s such a dichotomy amongst believers about these things. I’m sure there are probably a few people at my church who would be weird about it too. There are reasons to be cautious about stuff involving magic and demons, but none of them apply to us playing dungeons and dragons. Or reading Harry Potter, for that matter. Now if we had some sort of séance involving weird rituals meant to summon the dead to make our D&D game more “realistic,” that would be a problem. But none of us are about to do that.

Back in the early ‘80’s the Christian church blew the whole demon thing out of proportion and it’s still got that stigma attached amongst some more conservative congregations. There are also a couple of stories you can check out on Wikipedia if you look up Dungeons and Dragons about some kids killing themselves and others that were supposedly related to D&D, mainly touted by headline-grabbing media. People attach these stigmas to the game itself rather than the people playing the game, assuming that by playing the game you are opening yourself to the demonic rather than the other way around.