Why Do People Play Dungeons & Dragons?

When you think of Dungeons and Dragons, if the terms “Fantasy Freaks” or “Gaming Geeks” come to mind, then you’re probably not alone. People who play Dungeons & Dragons have been linked to Satanism, social ineptitude (e.g. fear of girls) and even murder (i.e. Chris Pritchard conspired to kill his parents while playing). So to recap – some people think the reasons people play D&D is because they are Satanists, socially inept and unstable. But the actual reasons why people play D&D couldn’t be further from these stereotypes. Here’s a short list of why people play:

  • Achievement, i.e. players derive satisfaction from achieving goals and/or “leveling up”
  • Immersion, i.e. players derive satisfaction by immersing themselves in a storyline through a fictional character
  • Socializing, i.e. players enjoy getting to know, chit-chatting and gossiping with other players
  • Teamwork, i.e. players enjoy working and collaborating as a group

Still not convinced? – Then let’s take a closer look at how the game is played.

D&D is a structured fantasy role-playing game that is played within the context of an interactive storyline. The outcome of the game is based on dice-rolls and references to tables and charts. The game is moderated by a Dungeon Master (i.e. the game’s storyteller); and played by a group of people, commonly referred to as a “Party” of adventurers.

In game, players interact with each other and with other fictional characters based in the game’s storyline. During an adventure, a party can engage in epic battles, solve a dilemma or seek treasure. Overall, the success of the group is contingent upon the individual contributions of players because each player directs the actions of his or her own character.

As such, playing D&D is not that different than playing a game of pick-up basketball (obvious reasons aside). In basketball, a team works in unison to beat their opponents; likewise in D&D, a party of adventurers works in unison to defeat monsters (i.e. monstrous beings and mythical creatures). Moreover, basketball players enjoy the camaraderie of their teammates; similarly, D&D players enjoy the camaraderie of fellow players. If you think about it, the similarities are uncanny.

There’s a reason why so many celebrities, from Stephen Colbert to Mike Myers – and would you believe Ben Affleck, fancy the game.

If you are a rabid D&D fan or just someone who plays recreationally, then this video contest is your chance to get involved. Contest ends August 10th, 2012.



Meme E

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