Dungeons and Dragons, It’s More Than Just a Trope

The Dungeons and Dragons Logo

A lot of people have probably heard of the classic and iconic table-top game known as Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D for short. For those of you who do not know what it is, here is a quick run-down: D&D is a Role Playing Game (RPG) where the players roll dice to conduct of the actions in the game and proceed through an adventure/storyline that is controlled by a dungeon master (commonly referred to as the DM). The adventure can either be a pre-made one that is available for purchase and handles all of the ins and outs of the game or it can be one made entirely from scratch by the DM where anything is possible. It is a fun, imaginative game but often one that is reduce to little more than a comedic trope.

Two popular TV shows have brought the game back into the public eye: Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory. However, both shows then cast it into a less than flattering light. In The Big Bang Theory it is used almost solely to emphasize that the main characters are embarrassing but lovable nerds. The fact that they are playing the game is the joke, because the idea is that only the really embarrassing nerds that you’re a little ashamed to admit your friends with play it. Or in Stranger Things, the main characters are children and portrayed as “losers”. Admittedly, it is also their knowledge of the game that helps them ultimately prevail in the show. The show provides a more positive image of the game and of the people who play it, though it can still be played off as somewhat humorous.

The question that all of this poses is why is it seen as a bad thing that people play D&D? It is a game and people have fun with it, so why bring them down? It speaks to a larger issue where if something is not deem good by society them that means it is inherently bad and there is something wrong with anyone associated with it.