Slashdot recently posted a Q&A between its readers and the designers of the upcoming 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Several of the questions are irritable in tone, especially as many feel this comes hot on the heels of the last major D&D overhaul. (The post is tagged with: “rpg, nerds, complaining, nerdrage, greed.”)
The only question which didn’t get an answer, though, was the one that I found most interesting, especially given the talk I’m delivering next week on the relative acceptability/respectability of geeky interests:
Short intro, I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi. Play a lot of computer games. Enjoy reading up on lore and the like. But I never got into D&D. I had friends that played it but I was never into it. I tried playing it a few times and had some fun experiences. But there’s always been a sort of negative stigma associated with it among … well, the general populace. What are you doing to break free of this? Or do you embrace it? What are your thoughts & opinions on this strange negative publicity that popular movies push onto D&D players? Do you ever try to break free of that?
(Note from Gamer_Zer0: Sorry Zonk, I tried my best to get this question answered for you, but apparently the Sci-Fi channel was having an original Battlestar Galactica marathon and the entire D&D team was no where to be found!)
… Is that a joke? Some sort of glib suggestion that geeky pursuits are cool enough to be mainstream now (though the original question certainly singled out D&D as especially stigmatized)? From a business standpoint, I guess I can understand why Wizards of the Coast might want its employees to dodge such a question, but I’d surely be interested in how the stigma of role-playing games figures into marketing (and perhaps even design) decisions.