Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Settle down, Nancy

Yeesh, who put sand in this guy's underdrawers?

I tend not to read Slate much because, well, it's Slate. This article was pointed out to me, however, and I couldn't help but comment on how much of a negative Nancy this guy is. Allow me to summarize it for you:
"D&D is a terrible role-playing system. Why? Because, that's why. It totally sucks even though it's the most popular one on the market, and it's just people being stupid that keeps all the other great systems from making it, even though RPGs are stupid anyways."
(That was my paraphrase, btw) Think I'm exaggerating? Go ahead and read it. The guy complains about D&D in a way that reflects on all RPGs, tabletop or video game in nature. Then he laments that D&D is just too darn popular for his favorite systems. I guess the man (nerdy as he is) is keeping them down, or something.

The guy just seems to need something to complain about, and Gygax's death made for a good opportunity. I hope he hasn't quit his day job.

Shamus wrote about the story today, and subsequently posted a link to my blog. Welcome, Twenty-Sided readers! Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

LOL it should come as no surprise to you that I am a regular Slate reader. :-) I don't know this writer's work, though.

-Murphy said...

I find it interesting that he compares Dungeons and Dragons to video games. I've never played D&D, but I'm pretty sure that if anything, video games are like D&D. I mean, what with the whole "it predates role playing video games".

Also, tabletop games are "considered pathetic even by mouth-breathing Star Trek conventioneers"? Really?

Because I'm pretty sure no.

Aires said...

"considered pathetic even by mouth-breathing Star Trek conventioneers"

I like the writer's technique with that statement: The readership will believe anything one says, regardless of the lack of evidence (annecdotal or statistical), because the writer drops in a pop-culture reference.

Oh, and "mouth-breathing"? What in the name of Crom is meant by that?!

Baruch said...

And there are people who play D&D who consider Star Trek pathetic. I mean, almost every nerd has at least one hobby he deems "more nerdy" than his.

Funny story behind this: in High School, my friend's girlfriend always made fun of us for playing D&D, and we'd always respond with "Yeah, but at least we're better than those Trekkies that can speak Klingon." She'd go quiet, we'd laugh, life would go on. On the first day of summer after my Junior year, I got an e-mail from her "Hey, I just want you to know that I maybe might be kinda interested in D&D. PS: I can speak Klingon--tell anyone and I'll kill you!"
To think we had been making fun of her nerddom going on 2 years without even realizing it!

WileyC said...

There was a bitter edge to the article, but a lot of the points were completely valid, IMO. Mind you, I have played MANY games of (A)D&D and enjoyed many immensely. I also used to eat really cheap hot dogs and no-name ice cream as a child to equal enjoyment.

Gygax and companions deserve all credit for making a wonderful new edifice to play in. But many D&D memes they created have retarded the roleplaying industry from nearly the beginning. Is that their fault? Heck, no! It's OUR fault for not demanding better in enough numbers to change the industry quickly enough.

These days, my games are so rules-light as to be almost free-form. That works for us. =)

Capt_Poco said...

Fortunately, people don't write articles anymore talking about how flawed Aristotle's Theory of the Four Humors was. We accept that the guy practically invented entire fields of academic endeavor out of whole cloth. Yes, he wasn't perfect, but he was the first. That's worth something, and an article about Gygax so soon after his death is pretty tasteless.

Oh, and "mouth breathing" just means that your breath smells. Most people breathe through their nose, which has less rotting leftover food and bacteria.

Andrew said...

I love how he assumes that the DM can't, absolutly positively cannot give roleplaying XP in a system other than GURPS. Obviously you can play DnD as a mindless slaughterfest, or if you have a decent DM you can whatever you feel like.

And honestly, forget Star Trek, the real losers are the overweight guys who think it's cool to paint themselves, jump repeatedly, and scream at football games.