Wearing wizard hats and armed with foam weapons, they settle in at the table.
The group of old friends gathers around the centerpiece, a game, to once again defeat a common evil.
Welcome to the world of Dungeons & Dragons. D&D, is an interactive tabletop role-playing game. Although it seems like any other hobby to enjoy without any long term positive benefits, there is more than meets the eye.
The game debuted in 1974, and although it was once stigmatized as “nerdy,” but has since exploded into the mainstream after being featured in popular media like the popular Netflix series, “Stranger Things.”
Not only is playing D&D enjoyable, but it also promotes valuable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.
Problem-solving: Solving problems seems basic since we do this every day of our lives. However, in D&D we face problems we never dream of facing which can help us improve.
For example, you and your party might be approached by a city guard who swings his sword at you while shouting accusations of theft. What would you do? Just like in real life, you need to be prepared to think quickly and creatively in order to solve problems.
Playing D&D will give you an area where you can practice this skill over and over again without any real consequences.
Teamwork: I’m sure the words “group project” conjures feelings of dread in the minds of many students. Having to work with people you’ve never met before and where your grade is on the line is stressful.
However, in D&D learning to work as a team is absolutely vital for success. There are many different obstacles that you will face in a game that can only be overcome by working with the other players.
Plus, it could also help you spot other people’s strengths and weaknesses as well. Through playing D&D, you not only learn vital team-building skills but also the wisdom to know how to take advantage of their strengths while avoiding their weaknesses.
Creativity: As we all grow older, most of our imaginations tend to be grounded in reality. In the modern world, we are bombarded with preordained images in movies and stories. This doesn’t require much use of our imaginations and limits so much potential.
In D&D, the entire game is fueled by the player’s imaginations. From the smallest animals to the mightest dragons, imagination fuels everything. Imagination, while important for the game, is something we require for our real lives as well.
That new job asking for a new and creative person for the team? Maybe there is a problem no one can seem to fix. This is why keeping our imaginations alive and strong is so important for us, and playing a game fueled completely by your own imagination is wonderful.
I’ll leave you with some words from the late Gary Gygax, the creator of D&D: “The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience. There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character.”
So, with that said… What are you still doing here? Gather some dice and grab some friends, it’s time to set off on your own adventure.