On Game Designers

I happen to know a few role-playing game designers on Facebook.  Mostly I follow them.  I am not going to drop any names, except one.  Michael Stackpole is an author and game designer.  He’s one of my personal heroes.  Here’s why:  During the early Eighties, Dungeons & Dragons was a teen fad that mainstream society did not understand.  A few community leaders, mostly religious ones, hated and feared it.  The worst anti-Dungeons & Dragons crusader was a self-appointed “occult expert”, Pat Pulling.  She formed an anti- D & D group, with the goal of getting distribution of the game limited or stopped.  I saw an appearance by Pat Pulling on a late-night news program sometime around 1982.  She acted closed-minded and did not seem to understand what Dungeons & Dragons was about.  Later, I learned that in 1990, Michael Stackpole published the Pulling Report.  In it he detailed the lies, distortions, ignorance and illegal activities that Pulling engaged in, in an attempt to influence judges and police officers against people who played Dungeons & Dragons.  Pulling left Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons (B.A.D.D.) that year, after the report was published.  It ended her influence.  All these decades later, her actions still make me angry.  I am infuriated that a moral panic began, motivated by ignorance, hatred and fear.  Still, in the end, the Dungeons & Dragons won this particular battle in the cultural war against non-mainstream activities.  Pat Pulling died in 1997.  Dungeons & Dragons is still around, with a fifth edition published in 2014.  I still see younger players entering the hobby and enjoying it, to this day.

Update:  I have received feedback on this entry and I intend to improve it with the suggestions I got.


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