Why Dungeons & Dragons is good for you in real life – Ethan Gilsdorf explores how the game helped him become more connected, creative, and compassionate. Via TED:
You’re a member of a team of adventurers, and your shared quest is to rescue a prince who has disappeared near an abandoned castle. In this mission, who do you want to be? A brave dwarf warrior? A brainy human wizard? A skilled elvish archer? A stealthy hobbit thief?
As you approach the ruins, you see a creature. It’s nine feet tall, green and grumbling, and it carries a massive axe. A troll, it’s chained to the entrance gate. What do you do? Rush and attack? Blast it with a magic fireball? Sneak around and find another way in? Try to bargain with it? Or something else?
I grew up in an isolated New Hampshire town before the Internet, smartphones and social media. Like most kids, I played board games like Risk, Stratego, Mousetrap, Battleship, Clue, Monopoly.
Then, in 1974, came Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D — a game that changed everything. D&D introduced rules for fantasy role-playing in a swords-and-sorcery world. I first encountered D&D in 1979 when I was 12, and it blew my mind. My buddies and I played it a lot.