When I was young there were a fair number of people who were convinced that Dungeons and Dragons was evil and encouraged devil-worship. I have no idea what my parents thought about it. My only attempt at D&D when I was young was a single game with a friend of mine that didn’t go very well. I got into war games, and when I did discover role-playing games it was the Star Trek RPG. Not much satanism there. If there was my sister wouldn’t have come within ten miles of it, let alone invested as much time in at as we did.
But even though the “evil” stigma has diminished over the years (video games took over that role on the societal hit list), it’s still largely considered “odd.”
So paint me a little surprised when my twelve daughter announced that her church group’s activity this week will be a LARP (For the uninformed, that’s a Live-Action Role-Play). Granted, it will be a Book of Mormon LARP (that alone might be worth the price of spectatorship, just to see how they manage that one), but I still can only wonder how they slid that past the Propriety Police. Is this just a case of her adult leaders being clueless, or has society really changed its view of role-playing games?
Once can only hope. They’ve been a great source of fun, friendship, and social interaction for me for years. Besides some incredibly fun times with my sister, my years in the Greenway Game Club (we have RPG-gear bags to prove it) helped keep me sane through much of the last fourteen years. Some of my favorite memories….were entirely unrelated to the game, usually, but the game gave us an excuse to get together and be totally nuts, dagnabbit! We had an awful lot of fun in-game, as well, not the least of which the look on Bill’s face when he discovered the Ring of Calling in the Cavalry called in the Paladin Queen herself.
Resurrecting our gaming from three hundred miles away has proven a bit challenging during the two years I’ve lived in Utah, but we’re working on it. It’ll be fun to dig out the ol’ dice bag again.