Saturday, May 28, 2011

D&D: Breaking the Stereotypes

The other day, my coworker asked me about my weekend plans. Well, for the long holiday weekend, we've got Matt and Bryan coming to visit for an epic weekend of gaming, starting, well, yesterday as of the time this gets published. So when my coworker asked our plans, I answered simply "dork stuff." It's easier than explaining D&D, video games, and in-depth discussions about history, politics, and gaming (not at the same time). Inevitably, though, she asked for clarification, and I had to try to explain what exactly D&D is. I am... not the world's best orator. I stumble over words and have a hard time explaining things to people. I still don't think I quite managed to explain what D&D was, and at the very least, I made it clear that it was a geek activity. After all, everyone knows the people who play D&D are the geeks, dorks and nerds.

When I was talking with DM about my day later, I got to thinking about D&D and its players. Everyone knows the stereotype: overweight, hairy, un- or underemployed, Cheeto-dust-stained and mountain dew breathing, basement-dwelling 30-year-olds rolling dice and pretending to be wizards and warriors in between games of World of Warcraft. The word "hopeless" generally is a qualifier to describe them. And sure, like every stereotype, you'll find someone somewhere who fits that description. But then you look at Ravi and me, two young woman with very different lives who happily dive into worlds of magic and myth. I look at many of the people I've gamed with over the years - some of them have fiances, wives, children; many of them own their own houses and are in successful careers; some of them hate Cheetos and Mountain Dew. Some people you might not expect also play D&D. Robin Williams was (or still is, I'm not sure on the details) one of the most desired DMs in LA. Vin Diesel, yes, Mr. Action Hero, one of the living embodiments of "Cool", also was a HUGE D&D player. There are probably plenty of other Hollywood stars, rock idols, or sports heroes who at some point in their lives adventured in the worlds of a DM's creation. Whoever they are, whoever we are, we've all got one thing in common: we like to have fun. We never entirely grew out of enjoying games and "make believe". My mantra is "The world makes me grow old. Nothing but me makes me grow up." D&D is simply one more way of appeasing my inner child.

That's part of why Ravi and I started this blog. We're breaking the imaginary mold people have about D&D dorks. We wanted to find other women like us and be our own little corner of the internet to say "You've got it wrong. D&D players have many faces, and we're one of them." We wanted to get women who were curious about playing but thought "it's a guy's game" to know it's okay to join in too. We want to be a place to show the world that, just like every other stereotype, the one of the D&D player is not at all standard, starting first and foremost with "Girls can roll 20s too."

Happy Rolling!

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