I'm sure by now, most of you have heard the name "Dungeons & Dragons". On the surface, it's a game of the imagination, governed by strict rules, and played with dice, maps, and miniatures. Under the surface however, lies the allure of the occult, the temptation to escape from reality, and the desire for power.
It's played by taking the role of an elf, dwarf or other likewise creature from pagan mythology, determining their weaknesses and strengths using special dice, and questing for fame, money, and magical prowess. This is facilitated by the aptly named "Dungeon Master", a person who tells the story in which the players are to act.
As though fantasizing, about conjuring fireballs and summoning elemental spirits wasn't bad enough, the overriding goal of this game seems to be about exploring this or that fantasy world while killing as many monsters as possible. This is rewarded with imaginary gold, weapons (conceivably for more killing), and "Experience Points", which once a player has enough, can add to their overall power within the occult-like game world.
Magic is an inextricable facet of the game. Murdering with it, lusting after it, and hording it, end up being the primary ways in which magic is used in the game. This brush with the occult can, and has had severe consequences for many people, but the game and it's creators have done little to dissuade this aspect of the game, even going so far as to name actual demons, and list their abilities and attitudes.
Use of the occult, depictions of demons and undead, scantily clad women, pagan gods, and the killing of anything or anyone in your way; all these things and more Dungeons & Dragons employs to tempt young and old minds alike away from reality.
There's no doubt that for the last few years, Dungeons & Dragons has become more normalized than it was in previous decades. Many in "Hollyweird" have come out to say that they played the influential game when they were kids, and these announcements are usually followed by torrent of likes, shares and comments, all welcoming the celebrity into the fold. It's a cult like attitude pervasive amongst the game's players.
Whatever the case may be, it cannot be said that fantasizing about killing, praying to pagan gods, and playing at black magic is at all normal for a healthy mind, and certainly it is not to be recommended. As a parent, if your children play Dungeons & Dragons, it would be best to advise them of the pitfalls, and educate them as to how the game can influence them negatively.
In this series of articles, I will explore historical accounts of homicides wherein D&D was found to be a factor, the dangers of becoming involved with the game, and how role-playing video games differ in concept and intention from D&D. I will also take a look at particular game publishers, and discuss how they add to or address the problems associated with role-playing games and the occult.