When LARPs, RPGs, and Dungeons & Dragons Make the World Better

D&DWhen we were writing Dungeons & Dreamers, John and I spent a great deal of time whittling away various themes and ideas that just didn’t quite fit into the narrative. The best story that didn’t make the book was a long chapter I wrote about Richard Garriott’s mother helping a community build a prefabricated Children’s Museum.

Freed from the constraints of the narrative, it’s equally enjoyable to gather the smaller stories that wouldn’t have fit into our book but that clearly grow out of the idea of games as community.

Live Action Role-Playing Games

While we wrote about Austin’s Society for Creative Anachronism, which was really LARPing before LARPing was a thing. These days, I’ve been seeing stories about theater groups and game organizations using LARPs as a form of comedy and expression.

On Games Making You More Social

People continually argue that games make us less social and more violent. Neither of those ideas are true, but these mythologies persist. The premise of our book is meant to challenge those notions, and we felt so strongly about the games and violence debate that we made that portion of our book freely available.

Rather than rehash those arguments, I thought it more interesting to find stories about people finding friendship and happiness through games.

Role-Playing Games as Classroom Teaching Aids

I’m in the process of creating a storytelling class that uses Dungeons & Dragons as the main text. Certainly there are other systems of play, but I happen to enjoy this one (probably because I’m most familiar with it). So it’s with great interest that I follow how other educators are using role-playing games with students.

A Brief History of Tabletop Games

Sometimes it’s nice to simply read a bit about how much these games have evolved in society.

The Prerequisite “What I Learned About Life by Gaming”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. As such, everyone wants to write about the “lessons learned from playing” articles and posts.

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  • Anthony Simeone April 25, 2014   Reply →

    Thanks for the link to my post (In Defense of Dungeons & Dragons)! And thanks for the work you’re doing here! Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

    • Brad King April 25, 2014   Reply →

      Thanks Anthony. We’ve been writing about this for a long time, but we’re big believers that the best way to spread the gospel is to help people find other smart writers and writing. 🙂

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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