Wednesday 11 November 2009

Talkin' to the teacher 'bout D & D

I was at JG’s parents evening (well, late afternoon) the other day and the subject of his concentration in class came up. On one section of his report, which I was given to review before the meeting, it read

“Ways in which you can support your child in achieving his targets:

Playing games which promote listening and concentration skills”

Well, I thought, what better game for this than D&D? JG listens and concentrates for three hours on a Sunday afternoon – surely that proves it works. With this in mind, I brought up the subject of the great game, explaining what it was and telling her how it could benefit children, promoting group co-operation, creative thinking, mathematical skills, building confidence, art and craft, etc, etc.

All the time, I could feel the sweat breaking out and the cheeks reddening as I listened to myself and realised just how weird the whole thing must sound to someone who’s not familiar with D&D. Indeed, there was a blog post about it the other day (damned if I can remember where now)

“Oh…right…” was her somewhat less than enthusiastic reply. I could see in her eyes the desperate urge to move on to the next subject as quickly as possible.

If I'd ever wanted to start a school-based D&D group (which I do), this was one teacher who was not going to be waving the banner for me from the touchline.

I can’t be the only one who gets more than a little red-faced when he has to explain D&D to non-gamers. It happened at the library when I had designed a poster to try and attract new gamers. I almost find myself making excuses for just how geeky I think I'm sounding.

Does anyone else find themselves turning red or feeling awkward when the subject of D&D comes up in non-gamer company?

Or is it just me?


  1. Nope. I'm officially too old and crotchety to worry about being judged.

  2. Officially? There's someone handing out certificates for being too crotchety now?

    I need one of those.

  3. You might want to check out RPG Advocate - he talks alot about explaining RPGs to non-believers.

  4. There must be an NVQ in being crotchety nowadays surely?!
    I have a clear recollection of going progressively redder during a job interview in Manchester 20 years ago trying to explain D&D......didnt get the job either!

  5. Yes, and that was 20 years ago, when D&D was perhaps a little fresher in the mind than it is now. I think that people get D&D and LARP mixed up and tar us all with the same brush. RPG Advocacy ( looks like a very interesting and useful site (thanks, Chgowiz)and should come in handy.

    I hope that this blog will perhaps serve as some sort of focus for efforts to not only bring youngsters into the OSR but also explain to concerned parents and such like (e.g. teachers) what D&D is all about and how its benefits can be maximised.