Friday, December 9, 2011

I Know The Weird Stuff You Are Into...

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a co-worker.  The conversation was somewhat random and just going from topic to topic when I got blindsided from out of left field with, "I've seen your facebook page and I know the weird stuff you are into.  Is that Semi-Retired Gamer thing something you belong to or is that you?".  Of course, I admitted that it was me.  I got a blank stare and the "old knowing head shake" like I was some sort of cult member or something.  I was not really irritated but I thought it was quite humorous.  It just reminded me of growing up in the 80's when D&D was insanely popular and the associated witch hunts that "concerned" parents and others would go on in search of the evils of the game.  I recall hearing the unbelievable accounts of people losing their sanity, learning real magic, assorted Satanic groups using D&D as a recruitment tool, and other completely outlandish and ridiculous claims.  Yet, people believed that then and less (I hope) believe it today.  It just caught me off guard because I thought I would never hear any of this garbage again.  I am 39 year old father of 2 that has been sporadically playing D&D since 1980 with no ill effects - 'nuff said.


  1. I decided to start playing Labyrinth Lord last year because (a) it was free, (b) it was the kind of game my early years had trained my tastes to enjoy, (c) it was fairly easy to pick up, run and teach, and (d) because I couldn't bear to tell anyone I was playing D&D-- the connotations were just too embarrassing at the time.

    While looking for players, I invited someone to come play. She loved Carcassonne, but I thought that a more freewheeling and cooperative game would have fit her and my other guests better. Now... she has an axe to grind with Christianity in general and is completely opposed to every aspect of the politics of what used to be called the Moral Majority. Even so... when she figured out that this Labyrinth Lord game thing was pretty much just D&D... it scared her half to death. It might as well have involved seances, animal sacrifice, and drinking blood as far as she was concerned. It was actually a friendship-breaking kind of a thing, even.

    It was surprising to me that those old witch hunts were as effective as they were... even with people that are completely opposed to the agenda of the people that were running them! In that moment, though, I realized I had effectively "come out" as one of those people that was into "that weird stuff."

  2. I understand where you're coming from about using the D&D label. It is still not something I just openly discuss with just anybody in a break area at work or somewhere similar.

    It is unfortunate that LL/D&D pretty much killed your friendship. That's unfortunate that the close minded opinions of some can have such an effect on people.

  3. Reminds me of the 'Kids In Service of Satan' nonsense that evangelicals used when describing the band K.I.S.S. back in the late 70s; a lot of people fell for that one.

    Thank goodness the band stinks (and has stunk) on ice. I may have rebelled and actually liked them because of the negative publicity.

    I'll never forget when the pastor at this odd ball church my father dragged me to pulled out that D&D book that has the sprawled out naked chick on an alter (the name escapes me). He went into a frothy rant on the 'Evil degenerates that would market such filth to children'.

    Interestingly enough, it was my pop that bought and introduced me to the Moldvay set a couple of years later.

    I wonder if he was as disappointed as I was that there was a distinct lack of naked chicks in those books.

    I'm guessing so.

  4. LOL...I hadn't heard that one. I heard the "Knights in Satan's Service" nonsense myself. You are right, the band does stink. Good for brainless rock carnival side show entertainment but they have no relevancy at all.

    I believe the rule book you are recalling is ELDRITCH WIZARDRY. I can say that I was as disappointed as you by the lack of naked

    Ahhhh....the good old 80s!