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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Some Horrified Bafflement

Those that read the blog Pharyngula will already have been made aware of this, but I thought it was worth discussing here too. Apparently, the Christian Children's Fund turned down $17,000 in donations raised at GenCon this year because part of that money was raised by selling Dungeons and Dragons products. I find that such a confusing slap in the face. For a charity to say, "We don't want your money", they are basically labelling you as a vile, amoral, and corrupt element of society that has so tainted the money you are offering that it isn't worth accepting, despite the number of children that $17,000 could actually feed and clothe. The fact that somehow playing an imaginative game can make a person so morally reprehensible that their money is no longer acceptable by a charity I find just utterly baffling.

I suppose I should say one last thing before I end this. I don't understand what fuels the stigma against Dungeons and Dragons. It is a game (a rather fun one, in my opinion). Sure, it takes up a lot of time (which is why I haven't played in years), but that is partly what makes it so attractive for kids in junior high and high school who happen to not want to spend hours drinking, driving dangerously, and pursuing otherwise "high risk" behaviour that is so common in teenagers. It is a social activity for the socially awkward (and the not so socially awkward, as I have known some cool people who play D&D too). The fact that there are angels and demons and a pantheon of gods might be construed as corrupting, but one of the amazing things about D&D is, if you are a monotheistic nut who cannot handle a polytheistic religion even in a wholly and entirely ficitious universe, you can easily change those aspects. Replace the D&D pantheon with a single god (and perhaps his enemy, so for Christians Satan could be included as a force of evil). Then all clerics serve that god, and you can have them fight the forces of the devil for hours on end, making you feel spiritually superior as well as giving you something to pass the hours with.

Anyway, other than professing bafflement and I think some justified indignation, I'm not sure what else to say. There are plenty of other charities out there who do very similar things (like Plan USA), so I would suggest giving donations to them if you are looking for a charity to donate to.


Jolly Bloger said...

Baffling indeed. I would love to know what went on at that board meeting.

"$17,000 from dungeons and dragons people?... I don't think we can accept that!"
"What is dungeons and dragons, exactly?"
"I don't really know - I think it involves drinking blood!"

I just started playing D&D a few weeks ago (I'm already 23! So much time lost!) and this just further cements my inauguration as a hardcore, though late-in-life, participant.

Mozglubov said...

Hey Jolly Bloger, good to see you are still around! I haven't seen any activity on your blog for a while, so I was concerned you had withdrawn from the internet life...

Anyway, congratulations on joining the ranks of D&D players. I hope you are enjoying it, it is a fun way to kill some time.