Social Question

stump's avatar

Why do people feel threatened by Dungeons & Dragons?

Asked by stump (3855points) January 27th, 2010

When I was a kid, there was a lot of talk about Dungeons & Dragons games getting out of control and kids killing each other. Religious leaders denounced it as evil and demonic. It seems like every few years there is a news story about some danger from D&D. Now convicts are restricted from playing it because it supposedly fosters gang activity. I don’t understand why people want to blame this game for societies problems.

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20 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Welcome to the ‘blame game’.

Seek's avatar

It’s a copout, like violent video games, Heavy Metal music, and fast food.

If society can blame these things (enjoyed by a select few) for the problems of the world, they don’t have to come up with a realistic solution.

Does anyone remember AC/DC being blamed for the Night Stalker?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It was the latest nonsense. I remember the marathon sessions in college. Harmless fun, the only down side was the time wasted.

wundayatta's avatar

I should think it would be obvious. Who, in their right mind, wants to be shackled to a damp limey wall deep underground where rats and cockroaches are your only companions? Who, in their right mind, wants to be out and about when there are dragons in the sky, looking for prey?

What? Oh. You meant the game? Color me red.

The_Idler's avatar

D&D doesn’t make its players go psychopathic,
but it does seem psychopaths are more likely to enjoy playing it, from the stories that have come out of America, anyway.

Just like aggressive music, violent video games and extreme pornography.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

It’s just a cop out for parents who can’t discipline their kids

Harp's avatar

68% of Americans believe that demons are active in the world. Presumably a good chunk of them think that those demons are just champing at the bit to get into our heads, and that expressing any kind of interest in the occult or magic is like hanging a welcome sign on your forehead. When I was a kid my mother wouldn’t even let me own a “Magic 8 Ball”! Ouja boards were like a direct portal to hell (I always wondered how Milton Bradley managed to package a demon with every Ouija board).

Whether or not people come right out and avow their fear of the occult, I think that this kind of superstition is not buried very deeply in our “enlightened” age.

mrentropy's avatar

Tom Hanks went crazy playing it so, obviously, it’s not a good thing.

mammal's avatar

i love it, that our Christian Brethren denounced D&D , for its malignant influence or whatever, i’d wager more people have committed torture, murder and child abuse under the influence of Christianity than Dungeon & Dragons….it was escapism and it was innovative, the tone of the game play reflects the personality of the participating players, rather than generating any untoward controlling influence.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think people feel threatened by D&D. I think many people don’t get the appeal.

syz's avatar

Which people? The same ones that blame culture and the media for their out of control kids? The ones that hear Satan in backwards music recordings?

fundevogel's avatar

@Harp Your mom sounds just like mine! My mom told me it was one short step from D & D to demon possession and Satanism. It turns out she told me a lot of bullshit when I was growing up, actually she still does le sigh. In this case the net result is ok because it saved me from the unmitigated dorkdom that is tabletop RPGs. Believe me, I’m dorky enough without it.

talljasperman's avatar

It might be that D&D take from religious sources out of context and misrepresents some beliefs…do you know that Baal is in the Christian bible as well as Forgotten Realms…I think In some cases people might try to substitute D&D for life experience…I know I do

stump's avatar

@talljasperman I think it was 3rd edition that introduced a bunch of made-up gods (St. Cuthbert, Pelor, etc.). I always thought that was to appease the D&D players who were also pagans. I haven’t seen a new edition of Deities and Demigods. It would be a hoot if they stuck Jesus in there.

talljasperman's avatar

@stump jesus was in the begining D&D material…you could even kill him…I’m still looking for that edition

stump's avatar

@talljasperman Cool. I will have to see if I can find it.

Seek's avatar

You’ll never see YHWH and Jesus in the D&D books. Imagine the uproar if they were aligned as they should be – Chaotic Evil and Chaotic Neutral respectively, with Lawful Neutral worshippers.

Seek's avatar

Oh, and to the best of my knowledge, YHWH and Jesus have never been in the Deities and Demigods books. It’s a widespread rumour, but not true.

stump's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I only have the first edition of Deities & Demigods. I was sceptical. I get why you would make YHWH CE but why do you say Jesus would be CN? I usually think of him as CG.

Seek's avatar


Upon further discussion with my husband, who’s been playing D&D since 1st ed. was new, YHWH and Jesus have indeed NEVER appeared in the official books, but they did have stats available in “Dragon” the magazine. We may or may not have a copy of that issue. I don’t feel like digging in the abyss that is our game closet.

YHWH would be CE because of his penchant for mass-murdering his own worshipers for the slightest transgression, and for taking a certain pleasure in personally tormenting the most devout of them (Job).

Jesus is CN because he had a bit of an attitude problem, and took away blessings and healings if the recipient didn’t revere him personally afterward. Also, there’s that whole thing with the dead kid in the Apocrypha. And he kills plants if they don’t feed him when he demands it (Die, fig tree that doesn’t feed me when it’s not the appropriate fruit-bearing season!)

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