150/365 – Meditation Games #150 – D&D’s IRL Saving Roll

Developer Credits: Del Nordlund, Sebastian Scaini, Patrick Flattery

Launcher Quote: “They felt lonely, unwanted, and scared, it was an unfortunate set of circumstances. They were desperately trying to find work in order to afford rent and groceries, but no matter where they applied, rejection followed. On top of that, a heart broken out of th eblue. Existing was painful, every second filled with anxieties and heartache. They reached out to friends and relatives, anyone who would put up with their company for any length of time, anything to remind them they weren’t alone. May 30, they’d made plans to hang out with a friend. It also happened that there was a session of Dungeons and Dragons that evening. They didn’t know of this campaign’s existence, let alone been part of one before. The group invited them to guest for a session. Unexpectedly, they were invited to join the campaign as a permanent party member and they were overjoyed despite their inexperienced hesitation. The promise of D&D kept them going. It was like that for a bit, with every passing week seeming a little softer and a little less lonely. Maybe the rest of summer wasn’t going to be too bad after all.”

I’m not a D&D player – not necessarily because it isn’t my bag, but like Pokemon and Harry Potter, it’s an intersection of geek culture that I never really had the time to get into. Long-term time commitments have always been the bane of someone like me who is constantly busy, so as fun as D&D looked, it didn’t seem like I’d be able to both learn rules and be able to participate in a way that was a meaningful contribution to the campaign.

That being said, today’s entry in the series is a refrain that I’ve heard a lot over the years from many a D&D aficionado – that the participation and experience of being into it is somewhat of a therapeutic experience, that it helps with many people’s difficulties sometimes with trying to find belonging and a group that they can feel comfortable with, and that in the midst of this shared experience in gaming is a big influence in how they move forward. Lots of people I know that have gone on to do successful things and do great work have cited their time playing D&D (either in the past or the present as a way to make formative years something significant, and that’s really cool to hear from a pastime that has been around for a long time and is still being enjoyed today.

The best part about D&D is that it’s now reaching the ability to find a wider audience for campaigns and getting people into playing, between the advent of livestreaming, online internet groups and support resources, and technology allowing for the game to be played without having to travel. It’s got a farther range than before, which means it has the potential to reach more people looking for an outlet or a way to be included, as the developer(s) of this game ultimately were. It’s a nice evolution of the game that takes advantage of some of the good that being online can offer, and I look forward to more people getting to have the experience for themselves if they get interested in it.


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