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  #1  
Old Nov 11th, 2017, 11:34 PM
outsider outsider is offline
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Doing a report on D&D for English class, looking for help.

In English class, we're writing an essay about interacting with a cultural symbol; for example, a girl once wrote an essay about how she went to Hooters for the first time to see whether the sexual connotation surrounding the restaurant was warranted. As I've never played D&D before, I only understand it through the lens of the negative stereotypes associated with it, so I decided to explore this for my essay. I originally came up with the idea because a guy in class invited me to one of his D&D games, and I figured I could write about my experiences there; however, the essay is due in about two or three weeks, and they're likely not going to meet again until December because one of the group members is busy.

I'd like to stick with this topic, so I signed up on this website to participate in a game and ask some people questions through PM to get a feel of what the D&D community is like. I'll need to have enough to write about in two weeks; however, I won't be leaving any games midway after the essay is completed, since that's just tacky. Any people familiar with the site have any good ideas/game suggestions for me?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 11th, 2017, 11:47 PM
BlueMana BlueMana is offline
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Since you're 100% new, you may want to start with a solo game so you can learn how create a character and how to play and figure out how the onsite die-roller works.

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1876

After that, I'd suggest looking through the "Games Seeking Players" section and just try to find something that catches your interest!

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/forumdisplay.php?f=280
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Old Nov 12th, 2017, 12:06 AM
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welcome!

best of luck with your essay. Do you have any idea which edition of DND you wish to play?

Regardless, if you'd like to ask questions, feel free.

I won't say I am an expert, but I have been playing for a while.
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Old Nov 12th, 2017, 04:53 AM
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Goodmorning Outsider,

Clever to ask in here, and if you have some sort of questionnaire I would be happy to help out and pass it to my players. I second the suggestion to request a Solo Game but I am not sure it will start in two weeks, so maybe that is more for your own fun and not for the essay ;-).

What kind of negative stereotypes have you encountered? Can you explain a bit more about this starting point of your study? It is a really interesting subject so curious how you want and are going to proceed, good luck
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Old Nov 12th, 2017, 08:48 AM
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Oh no! It's the the fuzz, hide the Cheetos, MTN dew, and the pentagrams!

Welcome to the club chummer! Always glad to have new players join the fray.

If you're looking for a quick primer on gaming, I'd suggest some gaming podcasts. Watching professionals play D&D has become big business on YouTube. I'm sure if you asked around the crossing people would be happy to share their favorites!

As for a questionnaire, I'd be happy to fill one out for you. Just make sure to avoid confirmation bias. The last time I saw something like this on Facebook the questions were had all obviously already come to the conclusion that gaming was bad

Anyway, glad to have you. I hope you stay longer than a few weeks. Once you get the gaming bug it's hard to shake it off. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you settle in!
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Old Nov 12th, 2017, 10:31 AM
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Just copy the girl's report and replace "Hooters" with "RPG Crossing" and you'll nail it!

I get the negative stereotype thing. I was a little kid in the 80s when ultra-conservatives were waging a smear campaign against DnD on The original Jerry Springer, for you young'uns...Donahue. My grandmother thought I was going to become possessed by playing board games and reading Dragonlance novels, but that says more about other stereotypes than anything involving gaming, really.

Do the other stereotypes involve black t-shirts and pony tails? Cases of Mountain Dew? An endless stream of Monty Python jokes? Hehe...

Good luck with your assignment and happy gaming!
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Old Nov 12th, 2017, 10:31 PM
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Thank you for all the helpful feedback, and I'll definitely be exploring various D&D videos and guides to get a better feel of what the game is like. I like the idea of making a questionnaire, and yes, I'd certainly appreciate help with distributing it once I've made it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocoladevla View Post
What kind of negative stereotypes have you encountered? Can you explain a bit more about this starting point of your study? It is a really interesting subject so curious how you want and are going to proceed, good luck
The stereotypes I've heard of are what you'd expect: a bunch of losers eating pizza, chugging soda, and sitting in their mom's basement yelling, "MUAHAHAHAHA, my orc has defeated your LEVEL THIRTY NINE paladin!" When the guy in class who I was talking about in my previous post invited me to one of his D&D games, the first few thoughts going through my head were roughly:

Bleh.
I don't want to be stuck in a basement for five hours.
I don't even like pizza.
Still, sounds kind of fun.
Ehhh... These people sound kinda weird.


Obviously, I don't believe that playing D&D makes you a loser, but my knee jerk reaction to the idea of playing D&D certainly reflected the negative stereotypes I've been exposed to, so I'd like to investigate this community further.
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Old Nov 12th, 2017, 10:54 PM
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It's like any other hobby, really; there are awful people involved in it who make it a huge drag and give it an awful reputation and are the reason for those stereotypes (and I've for sure met people who embody every single one of those negative qualities, unfortunately), but there are also plenty of awesome people who dig it too. My best games were always with friends playing for a few hours while we drink beer and just have a good time of it, then go back to normal life. Rule of thumb is that if you're playing with people and you feel unsettled or that associating with them makes you uncomfortable, find a group that doesn't skeeze you out. I've left tons of games because I got bad vibes, but I've also enjoyed tons because I played with the right kinds of people.
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Old Nov 13th, 2017, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outsider View Post
Thank you for all the helpful feedback, and I'll definitely be exploring various D&D videos and guides to get a better feel of what the game is like. I like the idea of making a questionnaire, and yes, I'd certainly appreciate help with distributing it once I've made it.



The stereotypes I've heard of are what you'd expect: a bunch of losers eating pizza, chugging soda, and sitting in their mom's basement yelling, "MUAHAHAHAHA, my orc has defeated your LEVEL THIRTY NINE paladin!" When the guy in class who I was talking about in my previous post invited me to one of his D&D games, the first few thoughts going through my head were roughly:

Bleh.
I don't want to be stuck in a basement for five hours.
I don't even like pizza.
Still, sounds kind of fun.
Ehhh... These people sound kinda weird.


Obviously, I don't believe that playing D&D makes you a loser, but my knee jerk reaction to the idea of playing D&D certainly reflected the negative stereotypes I've been exposed to, so I'd like to investigate this community further.

FYI, I've been playing DnD since the invention of it, basically (say, 1977 or so).
I've a post graduate degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry.
I have never been unemployed, since graduation... always had a job.
I've worked for chemical companies, and the largest semi-conductor manufacturer in the world, and I am now a Safety Manager for a facility that is set to make about $18,000,000 in profit (net) this year. I make a six figure salary.
I am pretty successful, definitely not a loser.
I do like pizza, however.
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Old Nov 13th, 2017, 03:23 AM
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I have to admit, I now two players who are indeed living in their mom's basements
(both have a beard as well, fun detail)

But yeah, stereotypes exist but almost never to be reflecting the reality so good of you to investigate. Your questionnaire would get really odd though if you would ask around about the stereotypes; like:
  • do you live in a basement
  • do you like pizza
  • what do you drink at a Game night
  • does your mom yell at you



By the way, is the guy that invited you also active over here?
Someone we know? ;-)
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Old Nov 14th, 2017, 07:13 PM
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Sounds like a fascinating paper to be working on. There are a lot of D&D players on here too, and as I guess you have seen, people willing to take surveys and the like. My favourite thing growing up was people being surprised that I was female... another silly stereotype to go along with gaming.

Anyways best of luck with your research and I am sure you can get a bunch of us to probably talk about our games and bits about our lives too, and how yes, some people live in their mom's basements, but some of us own our own basements too, or have no basements... fly planes, are doctors, lawyers, teachers, administrators, EMS and police officers, military specialists and truck drivers, and yes, women too.
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Old Nov 15th, 2017, 03:16 PM
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I love this topic. I've read all the books on it I can get a hold of. Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy; Of Dice and Men; and The Roleplaying Game are three that I have on my shelf right nowNo, really.

I think one big thing to consider is that like all stereotypes (like all) are largely self-fulfilling. DnD gets a reputation for being a game for social outsiders, and so only social outsiders begin to seek it out. And because only social outsiders are playing it, it gets a reputation for being a game for outcasts, and... the cycle repeats.

I think this issue is particularly visible with early-generation gamers, commonly called Grognards. Many of them came from wargaming, which DND evolved out of, and their view on things reflects that. Wargaming is a very exclusive hobby that focuses on people that have a large amount of time, money, and willingness to memorize rules. It's not something people are physically able to get into unless they have all three of those things - so it's largely for older, upper-middle class white men who get a little obsessively into things. And there's a whole suite of baggage that comes with.

I'm a middle class, adult white male, and even I've been driven out of gaming stores because of the exclusionary nature that the hobby provides clusters of people. My wife can't even walk into our local gaming shop if the owner is around without being sneered at. She says "I want to buy Bestiary 3 and the 3rd set of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game", and he'd said things like "are you sure you don't want my little pony cards?".

Many of these people have a very "us or them" mentality. It's not uncommon among social outcasts to be defensive of hobbies. These are the things that keep you going when times are bad. So when outsiders come in, even when they have good intentions, there's a reflex to keep people out. Do you remember the "fake geek girl" controversy a few years ago? It was that. People worry that if the general public gets into your safe space, it will stop being safe. They act out. It's a bad scene.

Recently, many high profile gamers have been working to fight these stereotypes. Paizo and more than a few third party publishers (3PPs) has been more than a little outspoken about their support of the LGBTQ+ community, treatment of mental illness, and more. Wizards has been... I dunno. They moved offices recently? They're owned by a big corporate machine so I guess they don't get to speak on political stuff too much. I also follow them much less. And then there are also really great communities (like RPGCrossing, to brag) where we really try to be a positive and supportive community.

ANNNNYway, gamers ultimately come from all walks of life. Most of us still fall into the same categories the Grognards did (white, middle aged men with disposable income and a tendancy to obsess over things), but while a sizable, vocal part of the community are still exclusive, others are actively trying to make the hobby more inclusive. An example for that being games, like No Thank You Evil, which is targeted to players as young as 5. Or simpler games like Dread, or Dungeon World.

Okay, I don't even remember what I originally replied to say any more, so I think I'll just back away now. Take care!
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Old Nov 15th, 2017, 03:42 PM
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First off, I did not know I was a Grognard. now, I do.

My signature is changing immediately!


One of the things that ARC said struck me... an earlier hobby of mine (in the 70's to 2000's) was Comic Books. And much like a lot of other hobbies, there are cliques that develop. Like ARC, a comic book store always had a certain "mystique", and if you weren't a comic nerd, it was hostile territory. Even as a comic nerd, I felt "out of place" going into a comic book store in another city, because I wasn't part of their group. Kids, women, etc., were also often treated as interlopers. I was probably 25 years into the hobby before I found a comic book store that I felt pride in taking my spouse into... So the situations ARC talks about are not just gaming, they are part of all kinds of social circles.

One of the things I like about DND here on RPGX is that I think we try to stay as far away from that clique feel as we can...we try to be open, welcoming, friendly, and a place that anyone can come, and not feel uncomfortable, like an outsider. I still remember, back when I was a newbie here on site, with barely dry ears, some DM taking a chance on me, and inviting me to fill in for one of his missing players. He didn't have to, he could have chosen a lot of other, better players, but he was always looking for a way to get new people into the flow of RPGX (DnDOG back then), and he opened a spot for me.

He included me, welcomed me, and made me feel like one of the cool kids. And to this day, I try to repay that, by welcoming the new people here, and trying to include them in my own games.

And, like Ronar, I have forgotten what my point was. Oh well. I'm a Grognard, I forget a lot of things at my age.
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Old Nov 21st, 2017, 11:11 PM
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Welcome to the site and hope you have a wonderful experience here.
I enjoy this site and everyone that I've crossed is nice and acceptable.
Don't be afraid to reach out. And hope to cross paths once or twice in stories.
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