D&D: Why Dungeons & Dragons Works So Well For Everyone
D&D has been showing up everywhere these days–from the New York Times to the Washington Post to Variety. Everyone’s got something to say about D&D, and one story from a high school D&D club helps show why.
D&D is full of stories. Some are harrowing tales of heroism full of adventure and derring-do. Others are tales of inauspicious dice rolls at critical moments that send stories spiraling into the most unexpected places. Most of them are just like 45 minutes of actual game play spaced out over three+ hours of trading inside jokes, movie references, and countless discussions of “who was that guy again” and “you’re not there.” But on occasion, you get a truly special story, like this one, which comes to us courtesy of redditor and hero T0M_SN0W
I run a DnD club in my school that sees all types of students from sports kids to theater kids and AP to special ed. The school is predominately Hispanic, and one student comes to me explaining how she was really quiet during the game because she didn’t know how to say certain phrases in English. I thought about this for a second and asked her questions about her (Elf Fighter’s) background. She said that she was a Noble High Elf, and I suggested that as part of her background her family didn’t allow her to learn Common which explains for why she only knows so much Common (English). I then proposed to the game if we made Elvish Spanish so that she can express questions in the game in Spanish and have one of our Half-Elven or Elven Spanish speakers ask the question in English to the group so that I’m helping my student learn English while also giving them something unique and special about their character. The last thing I want is a kid thinking they cannot play because of a language barrier. This is a game for everyone.
It’s a prime example of what D&D can do for someone, and why this game resonates so strongly for so many people. It’s a game flexible enough to accommodate language barriers, heroes, and the real treasure all along: friendship. There’s no secret that D&D has been enjoying a golden age right now, with popularity soaring. A combination of factors like, face-to-face engagement being more desirable, as well as a more visible boost from more popular media, makes it so that D&D is everywhere.
And as we’ve seen–that’s making our world just a little brighter.