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  1. #1
    Community Member blackdoguk's Avatar
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    Default The Moral Scourge Of DnD in the 80s

    Nice retrospective article from the beeb on the outcry over our "satanic" game in its heyday

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26328105

    Anyone take any flack from their family and friends around this time?

    Barbachop/Fizzburn/Politikills & Boaby - Omnipresence,Ghallanda

  2. #2
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    A few family members and people at school had a few things to say. I helped a friend write a speech for competition that tried to inform people about the game but some people had their minds set and refused to listen. The speech was titled DnD is not a cult or evil


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  3. #3
    Community Member enochiancub's Avatar
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    Wow, I had no idea this happened. Holy cow people are reactionary eh?

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  4. #4
    Community Member Sir_Noob's Avatar
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    In some circles it was pretty nasty.
    Some people being closet players never mentioning it to their family members.

    I remember some of my older relations who came to Canada who were quite religious mentioned to me the D & D players were doing the devils work or were playing with the devil.
    It was definitely an interesting time.

    I know I never told them I played for fear of being ostracized.
    After a little Tolkien I am usually up for anything.

  5. #5
    Community Member skorpeon's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for sharing that

    Yep brings back a lot of memories, and good ones mostly. We were a fairly underground group who met every sunday (yeah that probably was another reason why we did not have too many church goers in our group). It was not something we really discussed with others although and was a bit geekish I guess and I think highly addictive. Still I think a lot of my creativity and problem solving ability came from this time, and not from school work. Team work was and open discussions were order of the day. Of course creating and running dungeons was one of the aspects I also loved. I had to be careful with my creation as errors in logic or the story line were embarrassing when DM. I started all this back in the late 70's at a young age, so was a part of that early revolution I can proudly (but very quietly say).

    I still do not tell anyone about my DnD addiction apart from this group and my family. Is that a hangover from that time? Or do other people also keep this a secret?

    I look forward to reading some other peoples responses to this article.

  6. #6
    Community Member Thumbed_Servant's Avatar
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    TY for posting the link to the article
    Thumbed_Servant (to my cats ) I LOVE playing a healer (nannybot to the derisive folks)
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    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackdoguk View Post

    Anyone take any flack from their family and friends around this time?
    Nothing that took anything more than a 5 minute conversation to clear up.

  8. #8
    Community Member blackdoguk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    Nothing that took anything more than a 5 minute conversation to clear up.
    haha five minutes with you is all the time in the world....

    I think the article shows that people will always lay blame for societal issues somewhere, and usually with misunderstood concepts or groups. Being a bit younger I'm a little jealous of you guys who got to see it first time around.

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  9. #9
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    I remember that, it was all kinds of crazy. Suicide was the big terror of the day, and the minute anything got linked to it in casual conversation let alone a media blitz like that parents and religious groups completely freaked out. Easier to tell themselves it was an evil outside force, than acknowledge we really are only starting to come to grips with mental illness, depression, and all the reasons people commit suicide. And that it's not a simple thing, that you can't just easily protect your child from not allowing them to play a game. I think that's why the wildfire caught on, it was connected to real fears and it was tempting for people to believe because it was easier than facing how complicated, and in so many cases, unfixable the root problems really can were.

    Also going on at the same time that was equally annoying to a number of people I knew was that perception that the article begins with "A group of teenage boys". My groups were pretty gender split, and had been from when I started playing in 1984 onward. I know not all groups had women, but a lot of them did. We were playing and buying products also. But we still get forgotten. There are a lot of women on my server, I run into other women in pugs all the time, and not the same ones over and over. And there are men who STILL make a huge deal about 'omg, there's a woman playing!' on a regular basis. *Sighs*
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  10. #10
    The Hatchery Hoglum's Avatar
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    I was confronted by an "adult" holding a copy of the Dungeon Master's Guide. He says, look there's a picture of the devil on the front!

    I say, "well first of all, that's an efreeti, and second it's our job to kill him!"

    Yeah, I remember those times. My 4th grade teacher took the books to a teachers conference and recommended D&D! She said she'd never seen her students so busy reading, doing math and progressing in their studies. She loved it but then the satanic fear came about and it was banned from school so we all went back to hitting each other in football, goofing off in SSR and shooting each others eyes out with rubber bands.

  11. #11
    Community Member blackdoguk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoglum View Post
    but then the satanic fear came about and it was banned from school so we all went back to hitting each other in football, goofing off in SSR and shooting each others eyes out with rubber bands.
    Standard

    Barbachop/Fizzburn/Politikills & Boaby - Omnipresence,Ghallanda

  12. #12

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    read it this morning on my bbc app. D&D gave birth to not only the Role Playing Game but the idea that the effects of one gaming session would influence the next (now common with the internet).

    I remember the opening of E.T., the way they all pulled the knives out. Didn't like the reference then...
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  13. #13
    2015 DDO Players Council Seikojin's Avatar
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    Nope, and that was from a family of Jehovah Witnesses. O.o

  14. #14

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    I got D&D for Christmas, greatest Christmas ever. Had it taken away weeks later after that stupid movie came out. At least it became my underground rebellion instead of drugs. Lost quite a few friends in the 80s, not one gamer friend though.
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  15. #15
    Community Member Hawkwier's Avatar
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    Default Memories

    Quote Originally Posted by blackdoguk View Post
    Nice retrospective article from the beeb on the outcry over our "satanic" game in its heyday

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26328105

    Anyone take any flack from their family and friends around this time?
    Yeah I read that this morning and it did bring back memories.

    I first played AD&D in 1980. Thought a cleric was some sort of cosmic accountant.

    I remember the moral outrage, which was pretty ironic given all the strife caused in the name of real relgion, and here they were trying to lay these deaths at the door of a blooming game!

    Never had a problem with that stuff though. But the poxy kids cartoon - that was REALLY embarrassing!

  16. #16
    Community Member Nodoze's Avatar
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    I remember the time well. My dad did ask me about and I walked him through what we did and how we did it and showed him a small session. I think my dad liked it because it kept us from going out drinking at parties where he could make sure we weren't on the streets somewhere... As long we had good grades he even let us host sessions with up to 20 people at our house for up to 3 days straight with little or no sleep... At one point a Priest friend of ours (the Rectory was literally over our back fence) asked me about it and I also showed him what we were doing (we had just wrapped up a multi-day session and all the maps and miniatures were still out) and while he didn't necessarily condone it he didn't condemn it either.

    In our case it happened to be that over half the group played Paladins and our groups almost always had at least one Paladin in the party if not multiple and our DMs were pretty strict about taking away Paladin-hood... Our campaign setting was the World of Greyhawk that had been modified to have evil even more advanced with the evil powers on the brink of taking over the world. Our group formed the "Paladin Council" (everyone's Paladin main/alt was on it) and even the Druids joined our cause because evil had overrun the world and things were out of balance. Our first conquest at a macro level was to take out the Pomarj and setup a joint armies with Greyhawk to retake the rest of the world. After years of campaigning, around the time we "UnEarthed the first Arcana" and Paladins became Chevaliers and OP we became too successful and the balance shifted and the Druids withdrew from the council. At that point we began to do forays in planes of Hell rather than continue to conquest on the primary plane so but thankfully things didn't get to the point where the Druids started to fight us...

    That being said we did encounter another group that had about 12 members and their primary GM sometimes made his sessions pretty creepy. He sometimes dressed in robes like Death and had a scythe and their parties tended to have alignments of Chaotic-Nuetral, Nuetral-Evil, and Chaotic-Evil. We did do some joint sessions and did some other games with them and I while I enjoyed Mech-Warrior & video games with them their D&D sessions were not my cup of tea. As we got older the groups essentially parted ways...
    Last edited by Nodoze; 04-11-2014 at 09:01 PM.

  17. #17
    Community Member blackdoguk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkwier View Post
    Yeah I read that this morning and it did bring back memories.

    I first played AD&D in 1980. Thought a cleric was some sort of cosmic accountant.

    I remember the moral outrage, which was pretty ironic given all the strife caused in the name of real relgion, and here they were trying to lay these deaths at the door of a blooming game!

    Never had a problem with that stuff though. But the poxy kids cartoon - that was REALLY embarrassing!
    Scotland location? Ever visit the dragon and george in glasgow?

    Barbachop/Fizzburn/Politikills & Boaby - Omnipresence,Ghallanda

  18. #18
    Community Member blackdoguk's Avatar
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    RE Nodoze's post.

    For me the best thing about DnD was the variety in how you approached the game. My personal favourite campaign was that of a drow household where everybody was LE at best and constantly looking over their shoulder for a knife in the back from their fellow PCs. Can't imagine a goodly party, although in the face of an omnipotently evil campaign I can see the appeal. Nothing beats getting one over on your buddies and offing a fellow player in a contest of wits character power.

    Barbachop/Fizzburn/Politikills & Boaby - Omnipresence,Ghallanda

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