by Chris Osantowski, correspondent
Despite strong resistance form the Christian community in the past, Dungeons and Dragons has become more popular than ever. Thanks in part to a cameo on the critically acclaimed Netflix show “Stranger Things,” this game has found a home on Moody’s campus.
Dungeons and Dragons (or D&D) was first published in 1974. This role-playing game has morphed over the years, but the key components remain the same. Each player receives a specific character, and the group of characters embarks on an adventure with a certain goal in mind. Along the way they will solve problems, collect treasure, and fight battles. Each player takes a turn adding an improvised action to the story, and together the group moves towards their goal. Each game is mediated and narrated by a Dungeon Master. Games can have anywhere from four to eight players and last hours or even days.
According to Nick Swing, a junior biblical studies major and an accomplished Dungeon Master, “D&D has found a following at MBI because ‘nerd culture’ has grown and more popular people know about the game.”
Swing continued, “It has helped my improvisational skills, my communication abilities, and overall confidence.” He added, “There are very few pastimes that encourage such traits in their participants. From my observations, the team dynamic is similar to a brotherhood that can be formed on a sports team. While community is not a quantitative or measurable resource, in many ways the closeness in these games offers advantages that sports simply cannot.”
Because the Christian community has mostly set aside its fear of wizards and goblins, Christian circles will most likely continue to embrace this game in the coming years.
“Many people are ashamed to admit that they are in a game of D&D. Recently I have seen much more outside interest from people overhearing conversations at the bro-sis table,” Swing said. “One of my favorite parts of the games is watching people fail. Some people try to create their character as a perfect hero who only makes good decisions. I try to predict what they will do and it always surprises me.”