Also in the Gamespy 30th Anniversary of Dungeons and Drgaons is this interview with founder (essentially) Gary Gygax. I am not sure how many of you remember the scandals in the early 1980’s, when people were blaming D&D for anti-social behavior, including murder and suicide. It was nonsense then, is nonsense now.
It seems Gygax remembers who to blame for the bad publicity:
GameSpy: Do you find it interesting that what D&D went through in the ’80s and comic books went through in the early ’50’s is so similar to what video games are going through now?
Gygax: Oh yeah. The idea that a game is anything more than a game
Most of the opposition to D&D, as I understand it, came from evangelical christians. And they haven’t changed: http://www.chick.com/articles/frpg.asp
And now you know why the White House and State Dept.–I don’t know about other cabinet agencies–won’t do a “60 Minutes” program… let them have tape and they’ll make what you say come out the way they want, not how you said it.
I was unaware that Ed Bradley and “60 minutes” was an evangelical program. Well, you learn something every day.
Not evangelicals, Ed, just slutty hacks. They’ll take audience share from any quarter.
last post was addressed to Capt Joe.
Evangelicals (a pretty nebulous group of whom Jack Chick is not really representative) at first frowned on D&D because of the magical and demon characters. Their opposition got worse when those same well-intentioned people got their “facts” about how dangerous and scary it all was from mainstream news programs like 60 Minutes. Those same programs in turn exaggerated the concerns of those silly religious zealots. Instant news with only a pinch of fact needed.
Lex, I know. Just being facetious. ;)
What 60 Minutes standards? I remember being in Iceland after they did a segment on that country. The locals were so infuriated. They showed a picture of the main walking mall in Reykjavik strewn with drunken teens and made comments about the alcholism rate. In fact, that was taken on the Icelandic independence day where it is traditional for everyone to get looped. I can attest that any other day of the year, you couldn’t see even one drunk on that street.
Ed Bradley was/is one of the worst. I can recall being in a room where folks were being interviewd concerning, among other things, the comic book menace. The subsequent show was altered from their testimony to make them all appear as boobs.
Calling Bradley & company hacks is slandering hacks. Too bad those taxi cops didn’t break Wallace’s arms when they had the opportunity.
I remember that time pretty well since I was playing D&D myself. I even own a copy of Mazes and Monsters, the Rona Jaffee screed against fantasy wargaming. A delightful read for the mentally challenged.
60 Minutes is what you get when you cross tabloid journalism with the standards of prostitution.
I wish there were a concentrated effort to boycott the show and contact sponsors.
Huh. I’m an Evangelical Christian and an Avid D&D fan. Go figure. Not like anyone would be just as quick to paint Christians with a broad brush as some would be to paint, say, Fantasy RPG’s with a broad brush or anything.
to Brian B.
Anybody who thinks AD&D encourages devil worship needs to read Knights of the Dinner Table. :)
Hah! Brings back memories!
Played D&D all through HS with a bunch of Christian guys.
All the guys whose parents told them it was the Devil’s Tool converted to atheism. Every last one.
All the guys whose parents thought the game was harmless fun remain true Christian believers to this day. Yup, every last one.
A Christian explanation eludes me, so I’ll just call it karma.
Myparents were dead set against it, and I stayed Christian. They also made the mistake of teaching me to think for myself, that may have something to do with it.
Back in California, when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s, I had a group of friends who were all involved in lay ministry at our church. We got together every week, prayed for each other, then RPG’ed (though not D&D — one of the guys had some bad associations with it, we refrained for his sake — meat sacrificed to idols, if you know the reference). I miss those days.
That’s funny coming from Cronkite who was responsible for one of the more blatant political lies. He went on-air and claimed that Barry Goldwater was skipping JFK’s funeral in order to speak to political supporters in Indiana.
In fact, Goldwater was in Indiana to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral.
Too bad there wasn’t a crackdown on vicious slander on network broadcasts.
Assistant Village Idiot
Would this be the Walter Cronkite who put so much effort into convincing America that we lost The Tet Offensive?
(Evangelical who just DM’d for my childrens first series of adventures. They are third level now and on their own.)
Just had to share, though this is a bit off-topic. I am an Episcopal priest. My teenage daughter had some friends over and they rented “Dogma” and I watched it with them. At one point, a boy leaned over and whispered concernedly to my daughter, “Are you sure your mother should be watching this?”
These are the same “Christians” who are sure C.S. Lewis is a pagan because of Narnia, and are now working on banning Harry Potter…. Arrggghhh!
My sister, God love her, gave me a pamphlet entitled “The Christian’s Response to D&D”. She worried about my immortal soul because I played D&D. While this was long before fisking had a name, I did a fair job demolishing the “arguments”-Reuter’s scare quotes intended. Basically, the book would only convince someone who already believed that D&D would send you to Hell. However, I decided that peace in family was important so I never mentioned the game again.
FYI: several of us Evangelical types still play on occasion, and a minister friend of mine is teaching his children the game. I guess that we all just don’t know any better. Right?
I love KODT, but if there ever was a strip that supported Chick’s position on the evils of RPG’s (G)…
Seconded on the Knights of the Dinner table…quite funny stuff.
A lot of us Evangelicals got the “D&D=bad” spiel when we were growing up… but to judge by all the Baptists I play RPGs with, it’s certainly propaganda which can be outgrown.