"How We Won the War on Dungeons & Dragons"

The "we" in this sense is the folks who enjoyed playing Dungeons & Dragons back when there was a huge uproar against it. Apropos of Tex's posts about nerd culture. They may feel oppressed, but sometimes they win!

We used to play D&D when I was a teenager too, and I think it's very helpful for kids. That kind of role-playing is one way of working out who you really want to be, and what's important to you. You can't actually be a barbarian king or a wizard, but you can explore what it might be like to have the virtues of courage or knowledge, and decide where you want to focus your own efforts to develop those virtues in yourself.

Of course, at some point, it's time to 'put away childish things,' and get on with the business of developing real virtue (although you can probably get back to it, as with other childish things, once you get old enough). At a certain age, when you aren't sure yet who you are or what you want, the games are helpful things.


Eric Blair said...

Funny. I played D&D in my Catholic High School. Played in college, sort of fell out of playing it, although not out of table top gaming, and recently started playing it again.

Never thought it was particularly childish, anymore than watching grown men play football or baseball or any other professional sport.

Grim said...

Well, 'childish' is too strong; I only gave it that way because of the Biblical reference. I think it's more appropriate to adolescence than to childhood proper (although kids do a lot of roleplaying, D&D is a little technical and oriented toward sit-down-for-a-long-time).

I just mean that, when you reach young adulthood, you should take the lessons you learned about who you wanted to be and really start trying to be that person all the time. It's time to stop playing at being a virtuous hero, and really try to be one.

Once you reach the age that you've either actualized or exhausted your potential for virtue, why not take up the game again? This time, just for fun.

RonF said...

As a Boy Scout leader for 22 years, I have no intention of putting away childish things. I intend to do this until I go face down on the trail someday.