Monday, 17 February 2014

Day 17. First time you heard D&D was somehow "evil."

I grew up in the moral panic flamed by Patricia Pulling and Mazes and Monsters

And I came out of it unscathed and still spiritually Christian. I'm also a defender of the hobby and hold a "No Gamer Shame" attitude. 

My neighbor's know I play. My wife passively supports the hobby. And all while it seems I married into a family with some of the same "The-Game-is-Evil" leanings.

My in-laws have a very close family friend whose son "committed suicide because of D&D." Or so goes the story. Yet, this same aunt, a recently retired social worker for the VA, acknowledges that she sees the enjoyment I get from the game. I see her as conflicted in her of support for a family friend and seeing my involvement as a stable husband and father. How do you tell your in-law that "your son's best friend's suicide was not because of D&D, it was something else and that something else was likely the victim's parents or outside pressures the parents only increased." Well, you don't. 

You bite your tongue and be a role model. It's Family Politics 101. It's one thing to be confronted by the urban legends with friends and strangers at a cocktail party and reveal the common sense that the game is not evil. The game is not an occult gateway or a documentation of witchcraft or an introduction to demonology. It is a game with complex rules and math and stories.

The answer is there was no "first time." There was just "D&D is...evil/Satanic." If anything this toxic environment lead to, it was a period where I was ashamed for sometime about the hobby. But I grew up as I neared 40. 

Today, I brush off the laughter or turn it on those that laugh: "How many hours did your husband waste on Call of Duty today? How many hours did he spend 'away from you and the kids'  watching the games du jour on that premium sports packages in HD or head's down in his phone worried about player performance this week? Because if you think about it for any length of time: that fantasy sports league he's in is no worse than my fantasy role-playing game. And mine is far more social and doesn't cost me an extra $40 a month."

Posted by caffeinated at 8:00 AM in d10