Could a board game strengthen your relationships? By tapping into our most ancient skills, this popular game has the power to bring you and your friends and loved ones on epic adventures—even from afar—that will bring you closer than ever. Once you discover the secrets of this game of chance, you’ll surely be scrambling for your own 20-sided die!
Storytelling has always brought people together. Whether through tales told around the campfire, family lore, or chronicles that are told on the walls of Egyptian tombs, storytelling is an integral part of what makes us human. It allows us to communicate core values, build a sense of community, give us outlets for self-expression, and cultivate a sense of belonging.
So, how can 20-sided dice reconnect with an ancient part of our humanity? For a few minutes, I’ll implore you to suspend your assumptions and enjoy the potential of understanding why this is so good for so many!
I’d like to welcome you to the universe of Dungeons and Dragons: a place where you and your friends can be whoever you want, wherever you want (seriously, even Mars or Candy Land), where everything is decided with a roll of the dice. Let’s take a closer look!
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Dungeons and Dragons before; it’s largely publicized as a fantasy game nerds play in their parents’ basement, like in the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things.
People often mistake D&D—as it’s called—as a pastime marketed and made for nerds, but it’s actually an incredible outlet for creating community, exploring creativity, unleashing the power of storytelling, and spending quality time with our closest friends.
So, what IS Dungeons and Dragons?
When it comes down to it, D&D is a game of storytelling. Everyone comes up with their own character, from their most refined talents to their strangest quirks.
D&D is a game that starts to get more confusing the more you try to explain it. While I could take you down rabbit holes of intrigue, rules, and plot lines, we’re here to try and understand what it is about Dungeons and Dragons that people like so much. The answer is the same force that drives most of us to pick up our favorite hobbies or activities: belonging.
The excitement of Dungeons and Dragons’ quests and battles probably only partly explain the game’s popularity. The real secret behind D&D’s success is how it brings an immense sense of community and belonging that other games struggle to create. Over the course of “adventuring” together, players start to feel something we all strive to feel in life!
Reading all this talk about adventures, storytelling, and Dungeons and Dragons in general without seeing the fun in action can get pretty confusing. This video from Vox (also used by the D&D website) perfectly captures the basics of Dungeons and Dragons and explains the game’s decades-long popularity in a much more eloquent way than I can!
Find more fantastic videos from Vox over on their YouTube channel!
Collaborative, every step of the way!
So, I have to come clean with you: I’ve loved D&D for years now. I’ve met some of my best friends playing D&D, and the experiences we’ve shared are memories we continue to recall fondly. The group I currently play with meets over Zoom every Sunday night! We embark on our own adventure, in a world that I created myself. Along with the help of other friends, I’ve filled this world with its own unique geography, political systems, and flaws.
The journey you go on doesn’t care who you are.
Watching this video as someone who already plays Dungeons and Dragons reminds me just how much of a sense of belonging and friendship this game has truly given me. In its simplest form, D&D brings people together for a purpose. It’s this same concept of community that brings sports fans, car enthusiasts, or even bigfoot believers together. But in this one, we get to be whoever we want.
The perfect game to play with friends!
Particularly right now, in the time of this article’s writing, when coming together as a group to do what you typically do with your friends—play sports, go to concerts or on vacation—is unsafe, D&D is the perfect game to play with your friends wherever they are.
If you would like to get into D&D yourself, here is a great video that goes over the basics of D&D’s rules. If you already have a group of interested friends and want to jump right into playing, here are the players’ and game master’s rules for the latest edition of D&D. (Link will open .PDF)
So, who would your character be?
Remember to make time for happiness, and stay healthy!
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- Vox. “Dungeons and Dragons, Explained.” YouTube, 14 June 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PEt5RdNHNw&feature=youtu.be. Accessed 23 July 2020. ↩