D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop #17: D&D is EVIL
First time you heard D&D was evil?
I grew up in a conservative (but not fundamentalist) Christian home, and my well-meaning but misinformed parents bought into the “Satanic panic” rhetoric of the 1980s about D&D hook, line, and sinker. I can’t recall the specific first time I heard someone call D&D evil, but it was most likely my parents or someone at church doing the talking. The funny thing about my parents was that they were fine with roleplaying games in general (until my enthusiasm for gaming started to adversely affect my schoolwork,) but Dungeons & Dragons was the only one with the unique “Satanic” stigma. This is the main reason why 1.) I didn’t own any D&D stuff until I was in college and 2.) I gravitated towards other, more “acceptable” games early on in my gaming life. At the time, my parents’ anti-D&D stance wasn’t really that big a deal at the time — my friends and I were generally much more into sci-fi and espionage than fantasy anyway — except in certain situations, such as when they nearly forbade me from attending my good friend Grant’s D&D-themed birthday party in 5th grade (mentioned in Blog Hop #6) purely on the grounds that D&D was going to be played there. Thankfully they let me attend (it probably helped my cause that Grant and his family attended our church), but they only agreed after (bizarrely) making me promise not to tell my younger, impressionable siblings what I did there.
Drawing upon my own testimony and resources such as the CGG Chaplain’s Corner (particularly M.J. Young’s “Faith and Gaming” articles), FrDave’s dormant Blood of Prokopius blog, and, more recently, the Saving the Game RPG podcast, I’ve finally been able to convince my parents over the past few years that D&D is not only not evil, but can actually be enjoyed by Christians as a positive activity.