Interview with a designer of the new Dungeons & Dragons

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But in the photo, they are playing “Mazes & Monster”.


It’s also interesting to put the D&D moral panic in the context of the larger “satanist scare” panic of the period, when one media frenzy fed into another until a large portion of Americans were convinced that there was a secretive, satanist counter-culture that had been lurking in the shadows for years.

D&D and transitional rock/heavy metal were both youth-targeted and leaned on occult imagery, so both fell under suspicion. But the scare also colored police investigations and journalist coverage murders and child abuse cases. Low budget horror flicks – ever the weather vane of our society – picked this up and ran with it. It’s an interesting phenomenon to track as it gained steam in the late seventies, peaked in the early eighties, and was parody fodder by the late eighties (see: “The 'Burbs”).

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Those of us who played D&D in the earliest 1980s all totally looked just like these actors. Yessiree. Especially the blond dude; the guys all looked like him. And I wore business blouses when playing, and my hair was perfect. You should have seen my stockings!! So sheer. I always had at least 2 shades of eyeshadow on too.

Yup. An accurate depiction if I’ve ever seen one. Nary a pimple on us. Nosirree.


I listened to this the other day and thought it was pretty good.

Jeremy and I both dropped out of doctoral programs at the Graduate Theological Union as well, which makes me feel a certain amount of kindredness with him.

So, isn’t that Tom Hanks?

Yes, it is.

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