Monday, May 30, 2016

Dungeons and Dragons Finally Got Its Own Ted Talk!

Ted Talks have captured our imaginations, and convinced us to put our butts in our seats to listen to people talking about better worlds. Whether it's the potential of 3D printing, the changes the Internet has (and will continue to bring) to our lives, or the possibilities created through cultural exchange, Ted Talks get us to stop, and think about the world around us. They also take concepts that aren't quite in the mainstream, and introduce them to the culture at large.

And Ted Talks have finally set its sights on Dungeons and Dragons.

The fellow presenting this Ted Talk, in case you don't recognize him, is Ethan Gilsdorf. He was around when DND first hit the shelves, and he was an avid player in his youth. While he eventually grew up to become an essayist, teacher, critic, and other things as well, he never forgot the lessons he learned from his days as a player, and a dungeon master. And, though he eventually stepped away from the table, like so many of us, he came back as soon as he had the opportunity.

But what is the substance of this Ted Talk? After all, Dungeons and Dragons (and all its descendants) are great fun, but what use do they have in your day to day life?

Do you even game, bruh?
Well, what do you learn from DND? Top of the list, I suppose, is reading comprehension and the ability to do quick math on the fly. You also learn problem solving, since there's always a dozen different ways to approach any given situation, and players who think outside the box tend to come away the winners. Not only that, but roleplaying games teach us to look at character motivations, and to empathize with other people's viewpoints. It even teaches diversity, though that "D" word might as well be "dynamite" if you bring it up too blatantly in some corners of the hobby.

If you're an experienced player, then the Dungeons and Dragons Ted Talk won't shine a new light on things for you. But the next time someone asks, "why do you play that?" make them watch this video. Maybe it will help.

Hopefully you all found this week's Moon Pope Monday update of interest. If you'd like to help me keep bringing great content about all our favorite games straight to you, why not stop by The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to toss a little bread in my jar? As little as $1 a month makes a big difference, and get you some free swag to boot! Lastly, if you haven't done so already, why not follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter?

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad this video is getting such traction. We wrote about it on our blog too.

    We use D&D in therapy, and explaining what D&D looks like is hard, and he does a great job explaining it to the uninitiated.