We Are The Change We Seek
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This isn't where I thought I was going to be when I looked forward into my life, but here I am....
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2004-04-29 2:51 PM
Christian Anti-D&D Propaganda in the 80s
I just got a link from a friend to Dark Dungeons, a Christian "comic" denouncing D&D.
I read through the thing and I'm just shocked. It's horrible that things like this get passed around and kids get persecuted for it. It's the same kind of stuff my Christian upbringing was afraid of, but they never put it into comic book form like this. I remember getting in trouble for playing D&D as a kid. We didn't want to stop playing though, so my brother, Tom, and I sat down and designed a game system that was based on D&D but mixed other gaming systems and genres into it. We took out all the magic and put in technology, put the world into a future post-apocolyptic situation so that high-tech could live next to swords and clubs.
I sat for hours upon hours, days upon days at my little Commodore 64 typing out the innards of the Players Hand book into a primitive word processing program, so that I could print it out and use "the book I made" instead of the original Players Handbook which had been hidden with plain brown book covers.
There was a group of 4 or 5 of us who would play almost every weekend. We'd go to Church Sunday morning, then head over to Tom's house and play until 11pm at night. It was SO much fun, a lot of my formative time was spent there and I can look back at individual encounters around that table and see how they directly shaped parts of my psyche, personality, etc.
I even remember "the spy." One of the Elders (read: priests) in the congregation had his son ask to join the game. He had never expressed any kind of interest in such things and we all looked sideways at each other when he asked to join. Nonetheless, we had nothing to hide, we figured he would join, play in a couple of sessions and eventually get bored and go away. I happened to be the GM at the first session he attended. I was still very, very new at it, this was probably only my second time. Even though I could tell that he was desperately trying to read "magic" into my descriptions of strange things or situations. Near the end of the session, the jackass actually exclaimed, "Aha! That's magic!" *shakes head* Of course, I had a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation for all of the things that happened in the campaign so technically we were above reproach. The most they could get us on was violence, but we tried to make the villains into robots as often as possible.
I'd like to think this kind of mentality was left in the 80s, but it's not. Close-minded people are still villifying harmless things they know nothing about. For example, Harry Potter is a huge target of several Christian fundamentalist groups, even though it's a story about friendship, courage and the will to do the right thing in the face of insurmountable odds. Do these close-minded people who denouce Harry Potter talk those positive qualities that kids are learning while _reading_? Seriously, not very many kids read anymore, but J.K. Rowling changed that with her Harry Potter books.
I'm just ranting now, but it's because I feel so strongly about it. It's so unfair to those people who enjoy these harmless, often beneficial things.
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