Dungeons and Dragons and Delusions of Devils

There’s been a lot of discussion lately around FtB about Dungeons and Dragons. I’m one of those who stayed away from the game when I was a kid because I didn’t want to become a Satanist. At 11 or 12 years old, I was subscribed to Focus on the Family’s magazine for teen boys Breakaway. It quickly became my favorite magazine. The first issue I ever received had the story of a teenager who allegedly became a Satanist because he played Dungeons and Dragons.

Below, via Unreasonable Faith, is some vintage 60 Minutes from 1985 stoking hysteria around the game. It’s pretty nuts. 60 Minutes (and the police they reported on!) should be ashamed for irresponsibly treating superstitious paranoia so seriously. The D&D section is only the first 14 minutes and 20 seconds:

Also: Pharyngula passed on from Libby Anne a Christian alternative game meant to keep kids away from D&D.

Natalie Reed thought I should be a D&D cleric. I have no idea what that means. Click on the link to read her full casting of FtBers as D&D character types.

WWJTD opened the floor for that (a.nd more) D&D-FtB geekery and Julian disputed that I would make a good cleric:

Dan Fincke as a Cleric? He’s a philosopher. They’re all about perfecting themselves and eliminating the biases our feeble minds are born with. He’s a LG Monk for sure.

I don’t know what an LG Monk is either. But, my older cousin’s husband is senior vice president of marketing and go-to-market operations, for LG. (No that’s not Kirk Cameron pictured in the link.) He used to live with my mom and me while I was in high school. For another connection to Satanism—he played the devil in a complicated Christian camp game meant to simulate real life. He pulled me aside specifically early in the game and completely deceived me that I was on God’s team and he was letting me in on the secrets of the game.  It turned out we were on the devil’s team. We had to watch the other kids eat cake at the end. It was pretty traumatic.

Oh, and last but not least (I think not least but I’m not sure), Crommunist has gone and identified me as FtB Wu Tang’s Method Man. I think this is flattering. But I have no idea. All I know is that now I’ve got “The Method Man Can” stuck in my head, playing to the tune of “The Candy Man Can”. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Crommunist was thinking.

I will say this, “hey, you get off of my cloud” is one of my favorite songs. I like to quote it in everyday conversation. Whenever anyone says to me “hey” I say “You, get off of my cloud”. I don’t know how Crommunist knew that.

But since as a teenager I thought not only Dungeons and Dragons was Satanic but all secular rock music. So when I hear “hey, you get off of my cloud” in my mind, to this day it is as it comes up in this medley. (Understandably, I had a hard time with the section of that medley that incorporates “Sympathy for the Devil”. It was as Satanic as my music collection got.)

For more on my weird Christian childhood and other things (including the Beastie Boys) that I feared as Satanic read Before I Deconverted: My Christian Childhood and Before I Deconverted: I Was A Teenage Christian Contrarian.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.