Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Explaining our wierd hobby

A year and a half ago I made a post on the Anti D&D Movement relating my experience being a D&D geek back in the early 80s. A got a comment by Jennifer yesterday related her experience trying to explain D&D to her mother. It brought to mind my own attempts.

When all else fails I say it a form of improvisational theater performed among friends. That seems to leave the listener with a "oh I get it" expression.

9 comments:

Lord Gwydion said...

I tend to explain it--to older folks at least--as a Choose Your Own Adventure book, only you sometimes roll dice to see what happens instead of just making a choice yourself.

To the kids, I say it's like your favorite CRPG, only better.

Both also seem to work.

Mr. Gone said...

Your original post is excellent.

I may be young, but I started playing with a hodge podge of 2nd ed and 1st ed rulebooks. When we started gaming, my neighbor wanted to join in; he was a final fantasy freak-o. When his mom found out we were playing D&D she wouldn't let the dude even hang out with us anymore. That was the only time I experienced any hostility towards the game.

Throughout high school there was always that weird look from people watching us read D&D books, or listening to us chat about Kyle's dungeon of dread. But, we were always considered weird because we had long hair and wore Slayer t-shirts. So I guess I had never seen that side of it?

Reverend Keith said...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one referring to gaming as improvisational theater. :)

Yong Kyosunim said...

I just tell people that I did "geek stuff" on the weekend when they ask. Let them fill in the blanks on their imagination as to what that is. If someone finds out that I play D&D or rpgs and they don't know what it is, I don't take the time to explain. Too much hassle.

ze bulette said...

improv theatre i've used, and also "cooperative storytelling with rules and dice".

DemonIllusionist said...

I use "collaborative storytelling mediated by dice." Usually that's enough polysyllabic words that anyone who isn't going to be interested anyway decides they don't care enough to ask further questions, and anyone who understand what I just said will want to know more.

By the way, you should really enable name/url commenting. I know I would comment a lot more if I didn't have to 'sign in' to my AIM account every time.

squidman said...

Funny thing is, that from my experience, moms have a much harder time grasping the concept of RPGs than dads.

But I agree on the "improv theater" simple and easy...

Verhaden said...

I usually do this:

"You're walking down the street and there's a $100 bill on the ground. What do you do?"

The usual response is "I pick it up."

And that, my friend, is D&D in a nutshell.

Norman Harman said...

"I kill things and take their stuff."

If they want a real explanation then they gotta sit down and roll up a character for me to show them.