Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Evil D&D and Wargaming in the Classroom

Two links today.

My mom sent me this one - a Retro Report on the D&D panic. For some this must seem really amusing. But living through it as a kid, it wasn't. Cory Doctorow may have enjoyed arguing with adults. I didn't. I don't look back fondly on concerned parents, people warning me about the evils of witchcraft and Satan because I was really T1-4 in school, having to hide my books or get shipped outside because I was playing "too much" of "that game." I can't look back on that and laugh too easily. For what it's worth, my mom got me D&D books and a priest bought the Basic D&D boxed set for me. None of my immediately family ever stopped me from reading books, drawing maps, and playing games. Still, it's a good look back on the subject and way profit and panic drive people to cause harm. Too bad they keep zooming in on poorly painted miniatures, as if that's what you need to play D&D.

Dungeons & Dragons: Satanic Panic

This other one I think I got off my G+ feed, I can't recall off whom. I tend to click "Open in a New Tab" and come back hours later to read things. It's a good look at a military staff college instructor's use of wargames. Yeah, when you play wargames with a political and economic element you make some very different decisions. "Why, I'd never fritter away my resources on an invasion of Norway and jump off to war late in Russia if I ran Germany in WWII!" Yeah, not until political and economic considerations force you to do just that. Looks of interesting games in there, too, none of which I'll play for the usual reasons.

Wargaming in the Classroom: An Odyssey

Both worth the time spent on them.


  1. Deep down, I don't think I've truly forgiven Tom Hanks for appearing in that terrible TV movie, Mazes and Monsters. Joking aside, it was a much needed escape from the ugly conformist bullying in the '80s, when the teachers' attitude was that it would help us to fit in.

  2. Well of course D&D is evil. The question is are we lawful evil or chaotic evil?

    1. Neutral Evil. It's a game that bases assessment of success not on accomplishment, but on gold acquired. A perfect game for the early 80s.

  3. I missed most of the panic (I don't think it was nearly as bad up here in Canada) but my mother did send my dad to the game store to interrogate the owners.
    It shows how seriously my dad took the whole thing that he took me along on this mission, and bought me the first Dragon Annual compilation :)

    Hearing and reading about it just blows my mind every time, though.


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