The Side Effects of Role-Playing Games


If you’ve heard anything about Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), some of it was probably pretty damning. In fact, decades before Stranger Things dropped us all in the Upside-Down, tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) were condemned as a gateway drug to a whole host of societal ills, from social isolation and self-harm all the way up to murder.

Today, the Satanic Panic of the 80s has largely subsided. Conservative evangelical platforms now openly publish articles lauding the once-benighted Harry Potter series, and even D&D has managed to shed most of its old stigma. Indeed, social and psychological research continues to show that RPGs in no way foster antisocial tendencies: studyafter study after study after study[1] has found no correlation between RPGs and antisocial behavior, and some research even indicates that RPGs can foster social and emotional health.

But take heed, young adventurer. Tabletop role-playing is not to be trifled with. In fact, a year and a half into my first D&D campaign, I can safely say that these games come with a number of serious side effects. …Read More.