The Bashing of Dungeons and Dragons

Article by Markup on 12/14/2000.

A look at the best shots people have taken at the world's most popular role-playing game.

The Adventure Begins!

    Dungeons and Dragons. To some, it is a wonderful game of excitement and heroism that feeds both the imagination and soul. To others, it is evil. EVIL. More evil than heavy metal, Halloween, and the Taco Bell Chihuahua combined. So evil, in fact, that for decades a crusade has been waged against it by politicians, religious leaders, and the media. These entities have done their best to CRUSH the role-playing genre and all its fans, and on a number of occasions have almost succeeded. But what exactly HAVE they done? For those of you too young to remember "The D&D Wars" (or just didn't care at the time), we at have decided to pay homage to these past events with a virtual tour through some of the best shots people have taken at Dungeons and Dragons.

RPG Obviously Does Not Stand for Religious People Gaming.

    Before major religious leaders were bashing rap music and President Clinton, they were focusing on heavy metal and role-playing games. Pat Robertson (a man who's dedication I like but goals I do not) and his followers proclaimed D&D to be the work of Satan, and said it was the cause of everything from teen suicides to mass murders. Bob Larson, a Christian radio talk-show host and writer, went so far as to say, "The extent of occult collusion [in D&D] depends partly on the manuals selected to guide the game and formulate the dungeon master's strategy. Some manuals tell players how to summon demons and indulge in astral projection." Bob, alas, didn't understand that summoning demons was the only way gamers could get soda and pizza at 2:00 A.M., and as such didn't harm anyone (but the gamers' waistlines).

Bob Larson says, "Just say NO to D&D!"

    The best religious shots, however, have come from the sarcastic religious comic machine Chick Comics. Chick produced a pamphlet called Dark Dungeons, which chronicles a young girl's experiences with a role-playing game called, amazingly, Dark Dungeons ("D&D".. get it?). Let's take a look at one of the panels...

Debbie discusses magic with her Dungeon Master. Maybe next level she'll learn a spell to help her with that eye twitch.
    After reading this comic, I had to apologize to all of my players for neglecting to teach them magical spells and NOT having a witches' coven. It was a sad, sad day.

Media Pressure: Smoking is COOLER than D&D.

    Hollywood and the mainstream entertainment industry have never really accepted RPGs, and have even gone out of their way to stomp on them. This hard to believe, since for half a century they were willing to peddle smoking as being "cool," but apparently too many execs think RPGs are blasphemy and MUST BE DESTROYED. Case in point..

Brendan Fraser not only confesses that he was a geek in high school, but that ate his own boogers and USED TO PLAY D&D. CLICK on the image to hear his speech. even low-budget movies decide to portray gamers as second-rate losers no one likes. WTF? Why would such movies alienate a huge chunk of their audience with such comments? I'll tell you why: THE MAN WANTS TO KEEP D&D DOWN!

The Lone Gunmen are ultra-geeks.. and also big role-players. When they go to Vegas in an episode, they spend more time in their room playing RPGs than at the poker tables. Heh.
    The bias isn't just in films, though - shows like Saturday Night Live and The X-Files all take shots at gamers. They're LOSERS, man! Apparently, the guy dressing up like a woman and making fun of gays is cooler than people that like to use their imagination. It is no wonder SNL's ratings continue to be in the dumper.

Tom Hanks vs. D&D!

    Big stars even get into the action sometimes (usually when they were little stars). Before he was saving Private Ryan or losing sleep in Seattle, Hanks did a made-for-television movie called..

See the little heart in the maze logo? It represents THE ONE TOM HANKS EATS TO PROVE HIMSELF TO THE DUNGEON MASTER. Muahahahaha!!!!
    Adapted from Rona Jaffe's novel of the same name, M&M tells the (supposedly based on real life) story of Robby, a kid who likes a D&D game-clone called Mazes and Monsters. But Robby has kicked the habit, moved on to a new school, and wants nothing to do with D&D.. er.. M&M until..

Robby is sucked back into the M&M scene just as he was about to get out. Once you've reach Level 9, there's no turning back.

    ..a group of kids at his new school drag him back in. Suddenly, popularity, women, and alcohol are thrust upon him because HE PLAYS THE GAME. But M&M is a jealous master, and when Robby starts paying too much attention to other things...

CLICK on the meeting image to hear what the 5 members of the adventuring group have to say. Once you've done that, CLICK on the hidden image to reveal THE 5TH MEMBER of the group. makes him PAY. By the end of the movie, Robby (now known as PARDU) loses his girl, money, and sanity when the game drives him nuts and he tries to commit suicide by jumping off of the World Trade Center. He is then (literally) sent to live on the funny farm, where he lives in a make-believe fantasy world for the rest of his life. Moral: RPGs will make you their BITCH, so don't mess with them.

Robby's friends visit him on the funny farm.

The Final Insults

    Of course, no slander of the D&D community has been greater than that which the D&D community has given itself. Gamers bash each other constantly, and make it a spectacle that others often enjoy seeing. Why? Because the previously-mentioned powers HAVE WARPED THERE MINDS, and now all gamers are just self-hating shells of their former selves. Case in point..

"Summoner Geeks" is The Dead Alewives' audio sketch with some video added. You can view the movie by CLICKING on the above picture. CLICK HERE to hear the original (and superior) audio version.

    ..The Dead Alewives famous piece about Dungeons and Dragons. Who can forget such great lines like "I CAST A SPELL!" and "ROLL THE DICE TO SEE IF I'M GETTING DRUNK!" This skit did more damage to the morale of D&Ders than almost anything else in years.. AND IT CAME FROM FORMER GAMERS. NOOOOooooooo!!!

Tour OVER.

    Well, that's the end of our tour. We hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane. Be sure to take a copy of the Player's Handbook and burn it on your way out - you'll be glad you did! shopping:

Buy the DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS THIRD EDITION PLAYER'S HANDBOOK. Whether you are burning it or reading it, EVERYONE needs a copy of this book!

Complete your Tom Hanks video collection with this gem of a film: Mazes and Monsters. Available on VHS!

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