Dungeons and Dragons

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Name: Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Abbreviation(s): D&D, AD&D
Creator: Gary Gygax, TSR, Wizards of the Coast
Date(s): 1975-present
Medium: Game
Country of Origin: US originally
External Links: Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons page
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Contents

Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game in a sword-and-sorcery setting, originally published by TSR in 1974. It was purchased by Wizards of the Coast in 1997. It is currently in its fourth edition.

Fanzines

"Fanzines sprung up globally in response to the desires of individuals, clubs or publishers to put out the good word of fantasy role playing. Like NonTSR items, these publications were not produced or necessarily approved by TSR. Also like NonTSR, one can witness the creative energy of early role playing in its prime. These 'zines contain a treasures trove of information ranging from convention reports, published game reviews, new game mechanic alternatives and even reviews of other 'zines." [1]

Library groups

Many D&D groups met in libraries, especially school libraries. In the 80's, junior-high and high school gaming groups were common; most of these were D&D-based, with occasional experiments with other RPGs. Most groups had no formal club membership. Some had an established Game Master; others rotated that role between members. Library staff was generally supportive as long as the groups didn't get too loud. For many kids, this was their first introduction to non-age-segregated social groups.

Live-action

Some D&D groups tried live-action roleplaying (not yet known as LARPing), with varying degrees of satisfaction. Some limited this to cosplay or development of conlangs associated with the game; others created elaborate "dungeons" in outdoor settings or buildings, sometimes in restricted-access areas. Some of these activities fed the anti-D&D hysteria that tied into the "satanic panic" of the late 80's/early 90's.

Mainstream backlash

Some parents and Christian conservatives feared that D&D was a gateway to the occult. The 1984 tract by Chick Publications, Dark Dungeons, implied that D&D groups were introductions to witchcraft, and that players whose characters died were likely to commit suicide.[2] Many sensationalist news articles used any teen suicide where the child had played D&D to imply or claim that the game was the direct cause of death. This backlash convinced a lot of gamers that they were surrounded by idiots who couldn't tell the difference between game pieces (albeit textual game pieces) called "spells" and real supernatural abilities.

Rape in D&D

This article or section needs expansion.

(TBA later. May need its own page. Could be subtitled "why are girl gamers so rare?" Possibly a "rape in RPGs" page instead of D&D-focused.)

Links

References

  1. Fanzines & Mags at Tome of Treasures.
  2. Dark Dungeons tract accessed Mar 7 2011
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