Dungeons & Dragons can "empower the have-nots"

Posted: 08/11/2022 17:03:18 Modified: 08/11/2022 17:00:02 Writer Monya Relles is right that Dungeons and Dragons has long been a to...



Posted: 08/11/2022 17:03:18

Modified: 08/11/2022 17:00:02

Writer Monya Relles is right that Dungeons and Dragons has long been a tool for building and maintaining community for many people, and the other collaborative storytelling games she describes are useful for those purposes as well. (Earth Matters, “Games don’t need to recreate conquest, oppression”, July 23)

His premise that D&D is “mechanically designed to do violence to the indigenous peoples of a space” and requires “change” to tell “different stories” is, however, a misinterpretation. D&D is not “mechanically designed” for a specific narrative, nor does it require some sort of “change” to tell a particular kind of story. This is, in fact, precisely its appeal.

D&D is a rules system for cooperatively playing a story of any type. There are undoubtedly “homegrown” D&D games that incorporate the imperialist narratives described by Relles, but that’s up to the people running those games, not D&D itself. Blaming D&D for these individuals is like blaming paint because some painters use it to paint morally reprehensible images or blaming film because some filmmakers use it to promote hideous ideological agendas.

None of the official material from Wizards of the Coast — the company that publishes official D&D content — includes adventures or stories that conform to the narratological paradigm described by Relles. Indeed, most official quests involve liberation, recovery, and resistance; they focus on helping communities, not on dismantling or expropriating them.

D&D’s characterization of Relles aligns with a long-standing generalization of the game which, since the 1970s, presupposes that it instills violence, antisocial behavior, and deviance in young people. The truth is otherwise: D&D, like many other role-playing games, encourages players to express themselves free from the constraints of our society’s norms that otherwise inhibit their sense of self, including gendered, ableist, classists and cultural. It can empower the poor.

The stories he can tell – including many of the official adventures – are the very stories that Relles desires: stories that disrupt power structures and center and celebrate local and indigenous knowledge, and imagine a world where we live in a positive reciprocal relationship with the Earth and all its inhabitants. Through these games, players can cultivate empathy and inclusiveness, sharpen their understanding of how their choices impact the world and others, develop problem-solving skills, exercise their creativity, imagine a better world and strengthen their sense of belonging to the world. world.

It is wrong to condemn such a richly useful tool for fear that some people might use it in harmful ways. Instead, we should seek to identify and remedy the real reasons why these people think and feel what they think about their fellow human beings and our world.

Matteo Pangallo lives in Shutesbury.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Dungeons & Dragons can "empower the have-nots"
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