Dungeons and Dragons: Not Just for Nerds

By Sami Dugdale
Blog Content Contributor

What was once the cause of bullying and multiple beatings to nerdy teens growing up in the ’80s has vastly grown in popularity in the past few years. I am talking, of course, about the infamous game Dungeons and Dragons.

If you watched E.T. as a kid or even if you’ve seen the recent Netflix series Stranger Things, then you already know all about D&D and the “kind” of people that play it. Dungeons and Dragons released its first edition in 1974 and grew to be very popular in the 1980s. This fantasy tabletop role-playing game became very popular among younger audiences and quickly gained the label as “nerdy” or “dorky”.

Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game in which players portray a specific character and go on various quests and adventures that their “dungeon master” plans for them. The dungeon master is like the referee of the game and controls various aspects of the plot, as well as the paths players can take. Players can choose from numerous races including, but not limited to, humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes and half-orcs.

While D&D lost its popularity for a little while, it has recently gained back its prevalence among audiences. Dungeons and Dragons is no longer just a game for nerdy kids, but for people of all ages and backgrounds. Kids play at their local comic book shop, and there are adults who have weekly “D&D” nights where they play and hang out with their friends and coworkers. There have also been several celebrities that have expressed their love for the game. Comedian Stephen Colbert and actors Patton Oswalt, Robin Williams, The Rock, and Vin Diesel have all said that they either enjoyed playing the game as kids or still play it to this day.

flickr dnd
Dungeons and Dragons is a tabletop roleplaying game dating back to the ’70s. Photo via Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

If you are interested in learning more about Dungeons and Dragons, I highly suggest watching Critical Role. Critical Role is a weekly show that you can stream online, “where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons.” Their dungeon master is Matthew Mercer, an actor known for his roles in pretty much every video game you can think of, including McCree in Overwatch. The party also includes Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham, who acted in the English dub of Fullmetal Alchemist, and Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in The Last of Us. While their first campaign is now finished, it has been archived on YouTube, and the group isn’t even close to calling it quits. They still do different one-shot adventures weekly and have plans for other campaigns. Critical Role is a hilarious and entertaining series that accurately expresses the big idea behind Dungeons and Dragons.

I highly encourage everyone to try and find a group to play with, or better yet, you can do the research yourself and start your own group with your friends. Dungeons and Dragons isn’t just for nerds, it’s an excuse to embark on imaginary adventures with some of your best buds.

Featured image from pexels.com.

hannahwist

ktsw web content editor & music journalist. finding magic every day.

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