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August 20, 2008

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I remember in basic a group that got together and tried to run a D&D campaign, a difficult task since we weren't allowed dice or books (aside from religious ones and no one tried to claim D&D as a religion).

I remember in basic a group that got together and tried to run a D&D campaign, a difficult task since we weren't allowed dice or books (aside from religious ones and no one tried to claim D&D as a religion).

I can't believe someone is actually defending the "normality" of D&D players as a group. Sure, some were and are fairly normal members of society. But as one who owns the original hardback and the monster manual (have to get those out of my parents basement and sell them on Ebay) but played very few times before realizing what a tremendous time sucking thing D&D was, I have to say that most players at that time rarely made it outside into the light. It attracted the uber geeks, the recluses, those that lived in a fantasy world when they WEREN'T playing. Just because a few were not as described doesn't nullify the rhetorical jab.

And Goldfarb was limiting it to pro-Obama D&D players, not those wallstreet tycoon neo-con pro-McCain players. ;)

I think the Wizard protesteth too much. "Cloak of Stupidity +5 " was a great line, though.

My father actually introduced my brothers and I to D&D. It was a game he picked up while he was in the navy.

My father served as a submariner - D&D was the game they used to enjoy their downtime while still submerged.

Are you getting a tired of trying find the substance of McCain advocates's arguments, hilzoy?

did you see Bill Clinton's remarks about McCain's energy policy not being so bad? All I kept thinking was your effort to locate one.

this post struck me as you throwing up your hands and saying, "oh, to hell with it."

"It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement..."

Um...

So D&D has geeks, recluses, etc.
Perhaps even more as a share than the general population.

But I'll be consigned to the Abyss if all of us are socially inept losers. (And I'll defend my socially inept losers to their freakey ends. They have their rights just like the 'normals'.)

K, all hobbies are inherently dorky, whether it involves knitting, stamp collecting, memorizing sports scores, or pretending to be an elf.

The fact that a lot of role-players were losers in high school is probably attributable to the fact that everyone is a loser in high school.

Meanwhile, from World of Warcraft, to Harry Potter, to Lord of the Rings, to innumerable superhero movies, this segment of the population is now driving a huge chunk of American popular culture.

McCain's casual dissing of this group of people is at least 15 years out of date.

I have it on good authority from an acquaintance who is currently an inmate that D&D is quite popular among certain prisons. Apparently he once roomed with a man who was put in solitary after a lengthy dispute in which he protested being transferred to a different cellblock than his dungeon master.

Meanwhile, from World of Warcraft, to Harry Potter, to Lord of the Rings, to innumerable superhero movies, this segment of the population is now driving a huge chunk of American popular culture.

Heck, I have it on good authority that there have been some Babylon 5 fans in the military . . .

A veteran Chicago community organizer I know still plays D&D regularly, and still knows a lot of the folks he played with back in college. . .like Paul Wellstone's chief fundraiser. I guess you'd have to call it "anti-social networking" or something.

Though as a pro-Obama D&D player who is currently living at home (only for about six weeks, I swear), it does sting a bit, not gonna lie.

Andy Olmsted made no secret of the fact of being an enthusiastic role-playing gamer, as well as loving stuff like Babylon 5 and other "juvenile" science fiction and fantasy.

"I can't believe someone is actually defending the 'normality' of D&D players as a group."

Me, either, but that's because I know plenty of them.

I'm not a gamer, btw; I've the number of times I've played a role-playing game (RPG) such as AD&D is countable on the fingers of one hand; I simply know lots of people who do, and most of them are highly intelligent, successful, folks.

(I do play computer games, but mostly strategy types, although I do dabble in other genres.)

"I have to say that most players at that time"

Relevance to the past twenty years would be?

And if you have a cite demonstrating that most players at the time went on to be neurotic losers, rather than successful computer programmers, scientists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and so on, please do give it.

I'll make the strong claim: almost nobody is "normal". Think of the 10 people you know best. How many of them would you consider to be "normal". And the better you know someone, the more likely you know what their oddity is.

Thus we're all weird in some way, that might not be obvious.

Mackey's right about the number of military gamers. I had four duty assignments if you count tech school and there were lots of D&D gamers at every assignment. I remember being surprised at the at the number of them and wondering about it too.

K, all hobbies are inherently dorky, whether it involves knitting, stamp collecting, memorizing sports scores, or pretending to be an elf.

True there. If they were honest about it, plenty of folks would have to admit they geek out over hunting and fishing. Speaking from past personal experience, nobody out-dorks fantasy sports enthusiasts.

Andy Olmsted was a dungeon master for many years - and an excellent one at that. He put a lot of time, effort, and creativity into his games. In college our D&D group included geeks, nerds, ROTC/future Army majors, and even a couple of the cool kids. None of us live in our parents' basements (as far as I know).

That Goldfarb guy sounds like an idiot.

I think the point was to put down the DKos crowd as geeks, and the McCain campaign came up with a 25-year-old pop culture reference.

It's from "my century, the 20th century." Those kids with their Dungeons and Dragons and their e-pods.

McCain: I'm hip. Chucka-chucka-chucka-chukca...

It's a little surprising, given the relatively few numbers of gamers that remain, that this has received the kind of blogosphere pushback that it has.

It does my gamer geek heart good.

Well, you know, Anthony, first they came for the gamers, and although I wasn't an RPG gamer, I live in the neighborhood, so....

So Mr Farber, where on the chart would you place somebody who did a Klingon 'skin' for a calendar program, and would it matter if they got paid*?

(Yes, this was actually sold in stores in the 90's, shrinkwrapped.)

whoa, dudes, first they ignore you then they ridicule you. Time to raise shields.

I don't know: I work in one of the geekiest fields imaginable, obsessing over deeply geeky stuff on a daily basis and am an unabashed film geek in my spare time, but I draw the line at D&D - that's just too geeky.

Friends into D&D tried to talk me into playing by telling me it was like a do-it-yourself fantasy/action novel.

So it is, actually. If the players were any good, I found I really wanted to quit playing D&D and actually get to read the novel without all the crapping about with dice and rulebooks: if the players were dull/slow, I found I really wanted to quit reading the novel...

It also made me unfortunately aware of fantasy novels that read as if they were composed by someone who was harking back to a favorite D&D game.

Hey, I am a socially inept loser but never played D&D or related games. Why did nobody tell me that this is the approved way?

I think it should be noted that, while he was blogging for the Weekly Standard, Goldfarb notably disparaged Kerry's memory of war.

bc, my college D&D group went on to careers including a physical rehab doctor, a soil specialist for the Dept. of Agriculture and an IT person for Xerox.

I'm sure there are plenty of football fans who live in their mother's basement and have no sex life, and the guy for whom everything else takes second place when his team is playing is an old image. It's just that sports is "normal" and D&D is "geeky."

Regardless, that was a stupid post by Goldfarb.

I used to look scornfully a the D&D crowd, but that was mostly because those that I knew were D&D were, to a man (and they were all male) poorly groomed, seldom bathed guys that couldn't carry on a conversation outside the game. They were the guys who'd be in the dorm lounge until 3 or 4am, NOT drinking beer, in pizza-stained teeshirts and/or robes.

Possibly they considered non-D&Ders to be too odd to communicate. There's a certain symmetry to that.

It occurs to me that many of the attacks on the 101st Fighting Keyboarders have been of the same sort -- the references to the living in the basement of Mom's house, the cheeto-stained fingers, etc. etc. I wonder if Goldfarb was prompted by that to attempt to turn the set of associations in the other direction.

And if you have a cite demonstrating that most players at the time went on to be neurotic losers,. . .

Of course, that is not what I said, but only you Gary could ask for such a cite! :)

But, since you asked . . . cite

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