Monday, February 23, 2015

VICE Investigates Dungeons and Dragons' History of Ingrained Sexual Harassment

It's one of the horror stories we tell around our gaming campfires. We know a guy who once played in a game where the DM made the story revolve around the sole female player having sex with one of his NPCs. Often several times. In some of the worse stories we hear all about how that lone female PC gets raped for no purpose other than to appease the DM's need for vicarious thrills. We all shudder and clutch our Mountain Dew tightly, and we wonder how something like that could ever happen in the past time we all know and love so much.

Well according to VICE Dungeons and Dragons has a long and ingrained history of misogyny.

Such shock. Much surprise.
According to VICE's investigation that the boy's club environment of tabletop RPGs is no accident. Gygax, the creator of Dungeons and Dragons who passed away several years ago was on the record as saying that male and female brains were simply different, which is why games meant to involve women had been failures. These attitudes permeated the game's creation as well as the early culture surrounding Dungeons and Dragons, which might explain why less than 3% of gamers were female at the game's outset.

Dungeons and Dragons, like all games, has evolved and changed since its creation though. With more women (and minorities, and people who aren't straight, white dudes) playing the game than ever before issues that were once given a pass are becoming a battleground between those who see nothing wrong, and those who want attitudes to change. I covered some of this in my last flavor post Why We All Need Diversity in Gaming (And How You Can Start).

Will rapey DM's and objectified female players one day be looked on as relics of the past? Things like slave collars, Jim Crowe laws, and bell bottoms that we can't explain, and that we really wish we could have avoided? Here's hoping!

If you'd like to help support Improved Initiative then stop by The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page and become a patron today! $1 a month can go a long way toward getting even more content than you do now. Also if you want to make sure you keep up on all of my updates then make sure you're following me on Facebook and Tumblr as well!

1 comment:

  1. You may want to do a little more research the next time. Quite a bit has been written on this already, and it goes into a lot more detail that "Hey, I heard about this problem."