Creepy Culture


on April 14, 2014 | 3 Comments

“In an era of potent concern over internet pornography, cyber-bullying, and drugs, it is hard to imagine a game being controversial. But 30 years ago Dungeons & Dragons was the subject of a full-on moral panic, writes Peter Ray Allison.

At the beginning of 1982′s ET, a group of teenage boys are indulging in a roleplay game, featuring dice and spells, and sounding a lot like Dungeons & Dragons. They indulge in banter as they wait for a pizza delivery to arrive.

This innocuous depiction was a far cry from the less-neutral coverage that was to come.

Back in 1974, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was arguably the first true roleplaying game. Players took on the mantle of adventurers from a multitude of races and occupations. Each game had a Dungeon Master who would act as both a referee and storyteller. By 2004, it was estimated that the game had been played by over 20 million people.

Today, any veteran player from the game’s early years would speak of its positive attributes. It was based almost entirely in the imagination. It was social. No screens were involved.

But in the 1980s the game came under an extraordinary sustained assault from fundamentalist religious groups who feared its power over young minds.”


Tags: 1980s, Dungeons & Dragons, hysteria, religious fundamentalism


  1. David Goulet says:

    Pop rocks and D&D, yes I remember the panic of my school days. We did have a kid in high school commit suicide and his interest in D&D and heavy metal was pointed out. Some of it was religious blowback, much of it was just parents freaking out without knowing what was really going on in their kids’ lives.

  2. Sinister Ginger says:

    T the same thing happened in the late nineties with larpers who played vampire the mascerade. yes, many of those guys who were flakes and others were just plain dumb. At the end of the day these people are harmless and prolly are playing WoW in there parents basement as we speak.

  3. R.M. Glenn says:

    Remember it? Pat Robertson attacked DnD again just a few years ago. American holy rollers don’t drop stuff, the interviews just dry up.

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