I spent much of my early adolescence playing Dungeons and Dragons. This made me a social pariah to everyone but my fellow players, but I didn’t mind. Until I turned 15 or so, and really discovered girls.
We were a motley crew, as you might imagine, four or five social outcasts spending all of Sunday rolling dice and moving carefully-painted lead figurines around a table. Among us were Albert, the introverted Chinese kid with heavy dandruff, Richard, the tiny British kid with hair like steel wool and Christian, who, despite being a Swedish teen model, remained tremendously uncool.
I credit D&D (and related games) with increasing my vocabulary, fostering my creativity and improving my public speaking. Additionally, it was a heck of a lot of fun. I still have the many-sided dice–they’re wonderful, strange objects–in a storage box somewhere.
I mention all this because the 30th anniversary of D&D has arrived. Though many players have moved on to computer RPGs, I gather that plenty of people still play with pencils, dice and their imaginations. Not surprisingly, the blogosphere is all pointing toward this NPR piece, where you can listen to ten minutes of a game in progress. We never went so far as to do the kooky voices, and since when do you roll for initiative on a d20?