Why are RPGs the tool of the devil?

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by damiller, Dec 4, 2001.

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  1. damiller Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2001
    Ok, I have a question, why are RPGs considered a tool of the devil? Why are they demonized, and their adherants considered deviants?

    Any one have any ideas?
  2. Jomero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 1999
    star 3
    '80s propaganda. That's your answer.

    Back in the early '80s when D&D was still in it's infancy, the media sensationalized what people were still trying to understand. D&D was a tabletop role playing game that the general public didn't know much about.

    I believe there was an incident with some players that took the game WAAAAY too seriously and the boundaries between fantasy and reality for them were basically shattered and they either got into some major trouble or actually killed somebody. (I've seen quite a few people myself take D&D WAAAY too seriously and even saw one kid attack his own mom... but never anyone try to kill anyone else).

    And what does the media do when kids hurt other kids? Blame it on something else other than the kids themselves or their parents. This "evil" D&D game was warping little kids' minds and luring them into a "Satanic fantasy world of nightmare."

    Heaven forbid the kids were already messed up. Sure, RPGs won't help people already screwed up in the head (and I've seen some pretty scary people take it waaay to the extreme), but it won't be the sole cause of somebody breaking down and hacking people up with swords. Just like DooM wasn't the fault of the Columbine High shooting.

    -Jomero
  3. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5
    It's not happening as much now as did back in the mid-eighties. There was a rumor floating around that some kid had killed himself over AD&D, but it was never proven. There is a humorous set of Chick Tracts on AD&D that you can find at his website. The religious right laothes RPGs because it allows players to imagine fictional characters that worship fictional deities. Worse, it often meant dealing with demons and devils, consorting with evil. Forgetting of course that 99% of all role players portray GOOD characters, fighting evil, doing heroic deeds, and helping others.

    I think people like to find exuses for deviant behavior. Kid's doing bad at school, in trouble with the law, hooked on drugs- it must be AD&D! (that or heavy metal music) It can't have anything to do with parents. Or the fact that school really does suck. Or that he or she is picked on by peer groups in school.

    Partially, I think it is demonized because it can seem weird to outsiders- those who have never done it before. I used to try to explain role playing to people who never played it, and I gave up when all I got was blank, uncomprehending stares, and now simply pass it off as 'let's pretend with rules and dice'.

    Personally, I think being a role player is one of the most rewarding and creative things a person can do. It expands the mind, allows you to meet new people and share ideas. How is this a bad thing? It is also a way that some people learn social skills, because they themselves are shy or introverted.

    In part because the religious right likes sheep, not free-thinkers.

    Oddly the enough the only legal attack on RPGs that I can remember was the US Governments ILLEGAL break and enter of Steve Jackson Games in Austin, Texas and their theft of a recent run of the GURPS supplement: CYBERPUNK. Convinced that it was a handbook for computer crime, FBI and NSA gestappo confiscated damn near the entire office and almost forced SJG out of business. Forgetting of course that the Cyberpunk supplement was no more a handbook for hackers than a Harlaquin Roamance novel is, the Government had no right to do this. Not only were they completely wrong, violated SJG's constitutional rights, but they never got their search warrant signed by a judge. Is it any wonder Jackson won his suit?

    EDIT: Added links.

    See what the loons are saying:

    Chick Tracts on AD&D

    Staitway to Hell

    Straight Talk on Dunegons & Dragons
  4. Jedi_Xen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah I seen some people take AD&D way to seriously myself. One guy in the group insisted we call him by his characters name, even went as far as trying to act like his character all the time.

    I quit when one of the guys wanted to fist fight me because I killed his character in his sleep. (I was a thief, there was a high bounty on their heads, I kept in character especially since, he hung my halfling from a tree limb and beat him with a stick a few days prior) ((also that guy had something personal against me, I don't really know what)). Thats when I discovered Star Wars with another group and became addicted. But I never take it that serious, no character is worth changing your life over.
  5. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5



    Geez, I thought this was a great topic, and no one's touching it. Too bad.
  6. Jomero Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 1999
    star 3
    I won't be baited into a religious flame war. Sorry.

    -Jomero
  7. Maj_Odo-Taji Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2001
    star 1
    I'm partially with Jomero on this one. These topics have always turned into religious issues, and I'm really not interested in getting into it.

    On another note, the media has the ability to totally promote, or totally trash things. And what happens when the media doesn't have anything to talk about, they pick on someone/something. That something was D&D, and sadly enough it was right when it came out I believe.

    Oh well, great game and I still love to play it...

    Maj-Odo Taji
  8. JediBendu Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 1999
    star 3
    Some stuff I read said that some believe that pretending to be someone else opens you up to demonic possession. Thus they are oppsed to acting as much as RPGs.

    I've seen roleplayers gone bad, it has always involved drugs.

    The suicide argument is flawed, since roleplayers have a lower on average suicide rate than the rest of the community. This makes sense since to roleplay you need someone to roleplay with, thus you probably have friends, and people with friends are less likely to commit suicide.

    Also roleplayers have higher than average IQ, mathematical skills, verbal communication ability and problem solving skills. For example, the old Star Ace game taught me the practical use of percentages 5 years before they were ever mentioned in school.
  9. Ree Yees Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 5
    I LOVE RPGS & I LOVE METAL!
    I'm a deviant!
  10. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5


    JediBendu actually hits the nail on the head. However, it must also be remembered that not all sects of Christianity attack RPGs. One of my best friends is a born again Christian, and an avid role player, and a good one. He is most certainly able to separate his character's worship of a specific god from his own beleifs. He is also one of the best and most creative role players I know.

    I think a lot of people, especially in good games, can lose themselves in their characters. This happens with actors playing roles in movies. Robert patrick in Terminator 2 would come home in character and freak out his wife. Same with Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide and Mississippi Burning- they get so 'into' their characters that it can take them a while to get back to reality.

    Incidentally, the horror RPG 'Kult' was translated from its orginal Swiss by a priest.
  11. FlareStorm Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 6
    There's an old movie called Mazes and Monsters in which the roleplayers take their game to real life. Tom Hanks goes nuts and think he is actually his character. Its supposed to be an alarming movie but its actually funny because its so corny.
  12. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    I was raised as a very conservative Christian and I must tell you all that most Christians I have been around are simply uncomfortable with all of the new age/occult connections that are prevalent in D&D. However, I roleplay with several very conservative Christians from time to time (SW of course) and we have no problems. I think that a lot of it has to do with the source material. Either way, I love roleplaying and using my imagination. IMO, it's a ton better than going to see a movie, but I fear that today's media with their special effects and mind blowing soundtracks are slowly killing many people's creative potential. Oddly enough, I equate roleplaying with acting. You play a character for awhile. Anyway, I'm babbling a bit. Sorry, it's late.
  13. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5



    A good friend of mine is an ardent Catholic, I mean hard-core. His favorite game to play or run?: Call of Cthulhu. Go figure.
  14. Sith_GM Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    The only thing materialy evil at a gaming table is usually the rampant smell of BO. Some of you gamers need to use that shower! Any religious freak who says gaming is evil should sit at a session at my house. I'll show them evil!

    If gaming is evil I never wanna be good! Drinking, smoking weed, loud music video games and RPGs... man I am evil!
  15. Boba_Fetts_Girl Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2001
    They don't want us to use our imaginations on things that are not real. but if people didn't then there will be no doctors and firefighters.
  16. Anakin_Solo73 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 2
    I'm raised Catholic and find myself to be a person of a centric political position. I'm more concerned with what's affecting me and I really don't care what other people do in their spare time until it affects me. There are very few religious leaders or anyone of a religious connection that actually attack things such as Role Playing Games. There are those types of people who want everything against their beliefs abolished. Those who do and receive mass media coverage, bring all of the attention onto themselves. Unfortantly, many other people get sterotyped with a certain perspective because of the few people who are more vocal.

    A big problem with today's society on the issue is media coverage. Most Media Outlets determine what is presented, who presents the issues, how news is presented, and what type of angle they want the audience to see following the story. It is a big problem that has and will continue to plague human society forever. I used to work with media (small high school stuff) and even at that level, its all about selling a story. No one cares about what the root of a person's problems really are. Most Media outlets are concerned with a quick fix and a quick scapegoat.
  17. LtKettch Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 2
    I totally agree that the media is the biggest influence in all of this.

    Just look at how they represent Christians. Take for example on Bill Maher last night. They had a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew and they were debating whether religion causes terrorism. Of course, Bill chooses a moderate Muslim scholar, a liberal Jew and a hard core Southern Baptist Preacher. The whole show was almost designed to portray the Christian as the psycho of the group. But this was purely the choice of representatives that Bill wanted. But people who watch the show and are less educated won't realize that I could devise a show format with an Orthodox Jew, a radical Muslim cleric and say a more liberal Christian scholar or preacher and have the show make the Muslim come off as a nut job, or the Jew. It's all about what the media wants to portray.
  18. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5



    Oh, sure, that's the way they always do it in order to promote their point of view. If, for example, you did a poll and you wanted it to have a strong anti-abortion bias, you go to your files, find out where the highest concentration of devout Catholics (for example) are and conduct your poll in that region. By the time the poll is done, 88% of Americans are against abortion. Alternative, if you wanted to reverse the poll to be in favor of, you would go to your records to see where the lowest concentration of conservatives/most religious people (usually against abortion), and again conduct the poll to find our that 81% of Americans favor abortion.

    It all depends on where you want to source your information from. You can create any view point this way.
  19. Anakin_Solo73 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 2
    The Truth of life is distorted and is greatly dependant on our own point of view.
  20. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5



    Exactly. Which is also how they do opinion polls with regards to elections. Strangely enough, a lot of people vote not for who they WANT to win, but rather who they believe will win, thereby backing the winner. If people see that Senator Blog and his National Communist Nazi Union party are 'way out ahead in the polls' (see my previoius post and apply it here), there is a tendancy to vote in that direction.

    With regards to elections, I think that if anyone is voted into office, there should be an option at any point to vote them out should they begin to do things the public- you know, the people they represent, believe they are doing things not in their best interest.

    Getting back to the topic at hand (sort of, anyway), fortunately, most censorship is actually pretty hard to accomplish. I'd advise people to check out a book by self-titled Liberal and Feminist, Tipper Gore, 'Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society' and have a good laugh. If this is what passes for Liberalism these days, then no wonder the party is dead in the water. In related material, also check out Jello Biafra's spoken word material on the subject.
  21. Bri-Gon_Geers Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Radical fundamentalism annoys the heck out of me. When RPGs are attacked as a result, it annoys me even more because it hits home, causing me to question my faith, which I have held all my life, and my hobbies which have defined the person I am.

    The "morals" involved in an RPG all depend on who you are and who you play with. Most GMs are not out to corrupt people, and most normal-thinking roleplayers know the difference between reality and the game. Granted, games like "Call of Cthulhu" and "Vampire: The Masquerade" should be saved for more mature gamers (As a parent, I would NOT let a child of high school age or younger play something that "heavy"... but that's an issue about the quality of parenting and not the fault of the companies who are shooting for a slightly more mature demographic).

    As for the "magical rituals" enacted in D&D, in my group, we roll a die, wait the number of rounds for the spell to go off, then roll the damage. Wooooooo!!!! I'm *so* blasted evil!

    *Begins Jedi Sarcasm Trick*

    If Harry Potter and D&D are evil, then so are Tolkien, Star Wars, comic books, and Peter Rabbit (if those bunnies are talking, they MUST be possessed by demons... and stealing vegetables from Mister McGregor's garden? That rabbit is CORRUPTING OUR YOUTH!!! Beatrix Potter must've been a card-carrying Satanist!). If imagination and fantasy are sins, then each and every person in the world is a sinner to some extent. I don't remember seeing "Thou Shalt Not Think" in the Bible... or "Thou Shalt Not Dream," "Thou Shalt Not Theorize," or" Thou Shalt Not Pretend."

    *Sarcasm Off*

    I'm sorry. The topic pressed a button... and nothing gets me riled up over religious matters quite like a Chick Tract (He has some very nice Anti-Catholic and Anti-Semitic postings on that site too. Just the thing to make someone angrier still... :mad: ).

    Calming down now. Taking deep breaths. Will not let this ruin dinner.

    *sigh*

    --Bri-Gon Geers
    Who Hopes He Doesn't Look TOO Demented Now... :)
  22. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5
    Radical fundamentalism annoys the heck out of me. When RPGs are attacked as a result, it annoys me even more because it hits home, causing me to question my faith, which I have held all my life, and my hobbies which have defined the person I am.

    It should not cause you to question your faith, at least not in a negative manner. When I see RPGs being attacked, my immidiate assumption is that those making the attack will (probably) not have all of the information, and usually go for the basics included in the game, i.e. demons and/or deities. Most rational people, even religeous ones, will see RPGs as normal and healthy when not taken to obsessive levels.

    The "morals" involved in an RPG all depend on who you are and who you play with.

    This is at the core. Most RPGs are, at their core, 'good vs. evil' and the where's and why-for's are irrelevant. They are a major socializing event when friends can get together and connect about events of the past week, etc.

    Most GMs are not out to corrupt people, and most normal-thinking roleplayers know the difference between reality and the game.

    Mmmm, I have seen some attacks against RPGs and movies as being bad, also see younger people as not being able to think for themselves, and therefore these influences have a direct effect on their behavior.

    Granted, games like "Call of Cthulhu" and "Vampire: The Masquerade" should be saved for more mature gamers (As a parent, I would NOT let a child of high school age or younger play something that "heavy"... but that's an issue about the quality of parenting and not the fault of the companies who are shooting for a slightly more mature demographic).

    Yes and no. A game is only as 'heavy' as you decide to make it. As an avid player of Call of Cthulhu, I can say with some experience that, when we were younger (teens) we played
    pretty much as books said to play it, with with no real underlying detail of the effects of sanity and loss thereof. As we got older, the concepts and themes of the game deepened, because we learned more about Lovecraft's creations and their interactions with a mundane world.

    I'd be more reiticent to let a teenaged child of mine play something like Kult, which goes for the throat in many instances.

    As for 'Bloodsucker: The Fleecing', let's not go there, okay? :)

    As for the "magical rituals" enacted in D&D, in my group, we roll a die, wait the number of rounds for the spell to go off, then roll the damage. Wooooooo!!!! I'm *so* blasted evil!

    While formalized magic systems in games can occiasionally be based on real-world magical rituals (okay, okay, I know it ain't real, but oft times they are formalized), there is a difference between your elven wizard casting a fireball to roast some goblins vs. witchcraft and a spell to enchant and apple to make someone fall in love with you.

    *Begins Jedi Sarcasm Trick*

    If Harry Potter and D&D are evil, then so are Tolkien, Star Wars, comic books, and Peter Rabbit (if those bunnies are talking, they MUST be possessed by demons... and stealing vegetables from Mister McGregor's garden? That rabbit is CORRUPTING OUR YOUTH!!! Beatrix Potter must've been a card-carrying Satanist!).


    As I understand it, Tolkien was a devout Catholic and supposedly converted C.S. Lewis (the Narnia series). Lewis Carol was an opium addict and attracted to 12 year old girls, but 'Alice in Wonderland' is 'classic' children's literature.

    If imagination and fantasy are sins, then each and every person in the world is a sinner to some extent. I don't remember seeing "Thou Shalt Not Think" in the Bible... or "Thou Shalt Not Dream," "Thou Shalt Not Theorize," or" Thou Shalt Not Pretend."

    *Sarcasm Off*


    Without imagination we might as well cease to exist as a species, because sometimes 'hopes and dreams' are all we have.

    I'm sorry. The topic pressed a button... and nothing gets me riled up over religious matters quite like a Chick Tract (He has some very nice Anti-Catholic and Anti-Semitic postings on that site too.
  23. Bri-Gon_Geers Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Thanks, Kier. You're good people. :D

    Actually, I've been thinking more along the lines of catching up on the "paperwork" of the SW game I've been GMing on and off over the past year. I need to actually come up with d20 sheets for the Sith Lords that have been tormenting my players as well as some of the NPCs that they hang out with.

    I hope your holidays are happy ones.

    --Bri-Gon Geers
    Fear leads to Anger
    Anger leads to Hate
    Hate... leads to a Saving Throw... :D
  24. Kier_Nimmion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 5



    Not bad for an athiest, eh?


    You, too!
  25. Lordban Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 5
    That's pretty amazing... I went to read the longer article, there are a lot of ref's for sure but - it could be expected from a fanatic writer - the analysis is funded on biased bases, hence the writer gets whatever he wants from what he quotes.

    Frankly, some of the sayings have had me want to throw my pebble in the pond (such as the refs to LOTR as a good example of a Christian worldview on magic...), but what would the point have been ? You never convince people who don't listen, and fanatics give the best examples of selective deafness.
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