The Christian History of Dungeons and Dragons
In the pilot episode for Stranger Things, we are introduced to a group of kids sitting in their parent's basement playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons. As they roll the dice, we get our first introduction to the Demogorgon, which as the adventure starts steps out of the game and into reality.
In Dungeons and Dragons, the Demogorgon is a "powerful demon prince" who gave himself the title of the "Prince of Demons." Sound familiar? It should. That's because despite the well meaning intentions of church ladies in the midst of the Satanic Panic in the 1980's, Dungeons and Dragons is a distinctly Christian game.
Dungeons and Dragons is a role playing game where players create worlds of fantasy using nothing more than basic game play mechanics and their imagination.
Created by Gary Gaygax and Dave Arneson in the 1970's, D&D as it is colloquially referred to is a role playing game where players create worlds of fantasy using nothing more than basic game play mechanics and their imagination. It was designed with the Christian worldview in mind and--contrary to popular belief among many Christians--not with the intention to introduce teenagers into demonic activities. The original editions of Dungeons and Dragons laid out an enchanted world that included religion and clergy, and it was every clear that to fight demons, you need the light. Characters had to choose whether they were good or evil and they were expected to remain that way; this was not a postmodern world full of fungible morality.
Many of these initial mechanics have been changed and updated in recent editions to match the postmodern worldview of moderns, and to appease the woke overlords that now run the publisher of the game system, Wizards of the Coast. But that doesn't change the original creators intent.
Although the woke revisionists are trying to erase any connection to Dungeons and Dragons and their Christian worldview, the internet doesn't forget:
- Gary Gygax spoke at a Christian gaming convention a short time before he died about faith and role playing games.
- In that video, Gygax says:
I was reticent to say the fact, you know, that I was a Christian, mainly because I was afraid that I would give Christianity a bad name because I did D&D. So I did, I kept my mouth shut. But I just decided no, I’m not going to do that any more.
- This article dug up on the Internet Archive has that quote with some more context.
- In an email a month before Gaygax died he wrote the following:
Thank You, Michael,
All I am is another fellow human that has at last, after many wrong paths and failed attempts, found Jesus Christ.
Via con dios,
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
- It isn't all roses; there are a lot of questions about the specifics of Gaygax's faith. A few week stint in the Watchtower cult (ending in excommunication), a lifelong struggle to reject the Arian heresy: this was a man wrestling with God. There's a good discussion of his faith in this discussion with Rodney Barnes, M.Div., president of the Christian Gamers Guild.
So why is any of this important? It's because Christians are quick to toss aside myth and fantasy and storytelling as not just unimportant, but often as actively wicked. With the exception of the Bible we reject stories with monsters and magic and produce movies that don't show the true evilness of evil. When this happens unbelievers fill the vacuum left by the absence of Christians.
The truth is that without the Christian worldview there would be no Demogorgons and Netflix wouldn't have a hit like Stranger Things. This is why LOOR matters. Those stories are ours.
At LOOR we plan on creating not just stories, but entire worlds filled with clear boundaries of good and evil, myths, fantasy, and even some dwarfs and demons. We need the best Christian storytellers to join us and glorify God by creating enthralling mythical worlds that point towards and exalt the true myth.
Tiny Pretty Pervs
There are too many Horatio Algers in Hollywood these days who are claiming some standard of morality while creating content that is garbage.