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View Full Version : Role playing games: good vs. evil


06-04-1999, 04:23 PM
Okay, I'm not sure if this topic belongs here or in MPSIMS... but, here it goes. Do you think that Role-playing games (like Dungeons and Dragons) are dangerous forms of escapism or harmless exercises in imagination?

06-04-1999, 04:26 PM
Harmless, for most people. (There's a wishy-washy answer for you!) In my experience, most people that play treat it as a game - it's fun to do for a while, and it's a way to get away from the mundane world around you.

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"There is such a fine line between stupid and clever." -- David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap

06-04-1999, 04:32 PM
You're pushing a choice between harmless and dangerous. I'll offer a different opinion: I think that well-run role-playing games are a healthy outlet. Like improvisational theatre, role-playing can help teens and pre-teens to "try on" various identities and see how they like them, see what reactions their own actions have on others.

Well-run roleplaying encourages creative thinking, as well.

For the kids who want to write or run their own games, it's a wonderful chance to do creative writing, as well as an opportunity to try management and leadership skills.

We encouraged our kids at role-playing, we played with them; both were heavily into drama and theatre in high school, and consider that the role-playing was a healthy and helpful outlet for creativity.

06-04-1999, 04:38 PM
You're right---this doesn't belong here. Try MPTIMP or Great Debates.

06-04-1999, 04:52 PM
My feeling is that the small percentage of people that get dangerous ideas from role playing games, would almost certainly get them elsewhere if there were no RPGs.

Blaming RPGs (or for that matter, rock albums, television, and movies) for society's evils is a way of removing the true blame from parents.

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"The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life." -George Carlin

06-04-1999, 06:13 PM
RPGs don't make anyone wacky, they just attract a lot of wacky people.

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"I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn't."

06-04-1999, 06:18 PM
Okay, Guy Propski--- how can you tell me that this belongs in MPSIMS or Great Debates when there is Superman vs. Batman in this same category?

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"Man prefers to believe what her prefers to be true" -Albert Einstein

06-04-1999, 08:02 PM
You said yourself "Okay, I'm not sure if this topic belongs here or in MPSIMS..." so to challenge someone for saying it belongs elsewhere is ... what? Well, it's something all right.
Yes, the Superman/Batman thread belongs elsewhere as do several others I see. But to constantly remark that such-and-such a thread belongs in such-and-such a place makes that person look bossy and anal (and I'm not calling G.P. either of those). Which is why I think most people refrain from doing it.

As for your question, I think RPGs are totally harmless and is actually beneficial in that it encourages creativity and rewards creative output. If I ever have kids it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if they got into it.
But like anything, once in a while you'll get a loony (and boy, could I ever tell you guys a story about this guy I used to know, shame it's so long).
But just as loony if not more are those groups and organizations who claim that RPG-ing is the crosstown expressway to Satanism and/or etc.

06-05-1999, 12:04 AM
Unfortunately, the Board Moderators can't simply "move" a thread from one forum to another. Alas. I think the comments about where a posting belongs are intended to help us all figure it out for future... once the first post is made, it's too late.

In terms of role-playing games, I like the comparison to baseball. One normally thinks of baseball as a reasonable game to teach kids. But if little kids get together to play unsupervised in an empty lot that's full of broken glass and garbage, then there's danger. If one of the kids is a bit wacko, and tries to beat up the kid tagged him out, then there's danger.

So with role-playing games... The game itself isn't good or ill, it's the circumstances and individuals who make it so.

Soccer fans in Rotterdam recently rioted when their team won the local pennant. But I don't hear anyone saying that soccer is satanic (or anarchic).

06-07-1999, 10:26 AM
Alias said:Okay, Guy Propski--- how can you tell me that this belongs in MPSIMS or Great Debates when there is Superman vs. Batman in this same category?
Does the phrase, "Two wrongs don't make a right" mean anything to you? :)

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-07-1999, 08:19 PM
It has been my experience that RPG's encourage a more open ended view of the world (A dangerous thing to some people.) and as such help with imagination and problem solving in general. The largest problem with RPG's is when you have only younger players/gm's. They mostly endevour with Monty Haul type games, this isn't bad in the sense of making the kids violent evil creatures (Children are already evil twisted creatures. :) ) but it does generally grow boring before the kids discover the richer aspects of roleplaying, the persona creation, the morality plays, and situational perspectives that lead to a more thoughtfull outlook towards the world.

I've been RPGing for almost 75% of my life. And I now know the truth....reality is the twisted perspective. :)

06-07-1999, 10:05 PM
Personally, I think that anything that doesn't have a definitive answer (TSD) belongs in MPSIMS or Great Debates. Or even the Pit.
As far as RPG, when I was younger and more impressionable, I used to play RPGs at least twice a week with a group of people. We played for quite a few years and ya know, not one of us has committed a violent crime to date! People that get so carried away that they do horrid things and say that they did it because of a game could find evil influence in a game of Clue. They are twisted to begin with.

06-07-1999, 10:16 PM
popokis5 said:As far as RPG, when I was younger and more impressionable, I used to play RPGs at least twice a week with a group of people. We played for quite a few years and ya know, not one of us has committed a violent crime to date! People that get so carried away that they do horrid things and say that they did it because of a game could find evil influence in a game of Clue. They are twisted to begin with.
Precisely.

I remember when this hysteria was at its peak (a group even formed using, I believe, the same abbreviation as an anti-drunk-driving group -- MADD, Mothers Against Dungeons & Dragons). I was the president of our high school's gaming club, and the principal banned D&D. No other games, just D&D. To me, this just showed how ridiculous it was -- we could play any other roleplaying or battle game, but not the one named D&D. Why? Because some parents had sued schools in the past for D&D when their kids had committed suicide or whatnot.

I did some research at the time to try to get him to change his mind (and also for a school newspaper article that another club member wrote). In doing so, I found quotes like one mother saying her son had played the game for something like 20 hours per week, but she didn't even know he was playing! Hey, mom, do you think that maybe he killed himself for some other reason, like maybe a lack of parental interest?!

Basically, as somebody else noted, if you're screwed up and you happen to play D&D and kill yourself, people try to connect it to the D&D. But if you are so bad that you kill yourself 'cus your character died (at least one supposedly did), then you would'a done it anyway the next time you encountered a minor setback -- D&D or not.

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"What can be more deluding, or even dangerous, than false comfort that blinds our vision and inspires passivity?"
-- Stephen Jay Gould, Rocks of Ages

06-07-1999, 10:30 PM
I don't think RPGs create delusionally violent people, but I do think they are likely to attract some people that are prone to fantacizing about (and perhaps acting out) violence.

I'd use another analogy but I can't think of one right now: The same people who blame RPGs for violence are also the ones who blame pornography for rape. Pornography (usually) doesn't encourage rape, but it is only natural that a rapist would be interested in it.

06-08-1999, 03:56 PM
David B, The group's name was BADD, Bothered about Dungeons and Dragons. I believe they are still around, though are not as visable as they used to be. I remember one year about '92 or '93 my university's gaming organization was having its annual Role Playing conventions, when we were told that BADD was going to picket us...we reacted accordingly, informed them that we would welcome them, offered to have a well organized traditional debate in front of the press about role playing. For some reason, they refused, and no picketers ever showed up at the convention. Nothing beats groups like that than decently, openly asserted truth.


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>>while contemplating the navel of the universe, I wondered, is it an innie or outie?<<

---The dragon observes

06-08-1999, 03:57 PM
David B, The group's name was BADD, Bothered about Dungeons and Dragons. I believe they are still around, though are not as visable as they used to be. I remember one year about '92 or '93 my university's gaming organization was having its annual Role Playing conventions, when we were told that BADD was going to picket us...we reacted accordingly, informed them that we would welcome them, offered to have a well organized traditional debate in front of the press about role playing. For some reason, they refused, and no picketers ever showed up at the convention. Nothing beats groups like that better than decently, openly asserted truth.


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>>while contemplating the navel of the universe, I wondered, is it an innie or outie?<<

---The dragon observes