The Buzz around Dungeons & Dragons

It’s hard to believe it took this long to have a Hollywood production of Dungeons & Dragons. Oh, there have been movies (poor attempts) before this, which, to be honest, repelled more people than they attracted to the game. I started playing in the late 1970’s with the only rulebook available, Greyhawk, a saddle-stitched paper book, and a collection of very strange dice. Everything about the game was limited, except the players’ imaginations.

But that is the essence of the game, is it not? Imagination? Before miniatures and pre-designed campaigns for purchase, there were just the rules, the dice, and the imagination. Like anything else in this world, you could use it for evil, or you could use it for good. At first glance, the game was designed to reward stealing and killing. Do so, and you could amass treasures and what they call, “experience points.” The more you stole and the more you killed, the more experienced your character became. And these experience points advanced the character from level to level.

Some, like me, chose to play the game a different way…a positive way. My character chose good. Garrett of the Great Plains worked to help others and thwart evil. Don’t you just love that word, “thwart”? Anyway, the gamers I played with realized experience is just that…experience. Make a mistake and learn from it…chose a creative way to settle conflict…subdue without killing…and you gained experience. In fact, I’d wager that the person who can learn a new way of doing something has gained more experience than a person who does the same thing over and over again. Yes, it makes you better at that one thing…but only that one thing.

But back to the point of my article…the buzz around Dungeons & Dragons. Why after all these years is D&D experiencing an upsurge in attention and interest? In a world of gadgets and gizmos that do all the thinking and imagination for you (VR games), why would a game that makes you think and imagine be popular? Because we’re hungry for the imagination. We need to use those God-given gifts. Am I lobbying for the game D&D? No, not really. But I am lobbying for the world to take a step back and experience the wonderful tool of your mind…think…imagine…daydream.

Unplug from your computers…your televisions…your video games…and your phones. Sit and imagine. Sit and dream. Give it a try, and you’ll see what all the buzz is about.

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