When the topic of Dungeons & Dragons comes up, the first thing that people think about is a group of stereotypical nerds in a basement. Among college students, however, Dungeons & Dragons has become an outlet for creativity and a stress reliever.
Dungeons & Dragons was created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and it became the first fantasy roleplaying game. The core of Dungeons & Dragons is storytelling and allows players to tell a story while playing it out.
Elizabeth Knowles, a senior forensic science major, has been playing Dungeons & Dragons on and off again for FIVE years. Knowles said Dungeons & Dragons is a good outlet to get away from the troubles of the world.
“Dungeons & Dragons should be a short break from reality to better deal with life’s real dragons,” Knowles said. “If you know the difference between D&D and reality and have a role in reality, you are not a loser.”
Greg Spanier is the owner of maCnarB Gaming in Gautier. maCnarB hosts Dungeons & Dragons sessions every Wednesday and Saturday.
Spanier said he does not notice a stigma behind Dungeons & Dragons.
“I have players from every clique and profession that play,” Stanier said. “Kids [today] grow up on games, so they are more open than they were in the 1980s.”
maCnarB has been putting on Dungeons & Dragons nights since the opening of the store in 2011. Stanier said he noticed friendships being formed over games of Dungeons & Dragons in his store.
“I normally get a new group of four or five and run that group until they hit level five,” Stanier said. “The group then gets together and takes turns running games on their own.” He said there are usually six groups that play on various nights that started because of him.
Stanier said Dungeons & Dragons can help people with social skills.
“Introverts can come and play in a safe place with all types of people they normally would not talk to,” Stanier said. “I have seen it many times and I have to say, the majority of Dungeon & Dragon players are great, honest people.”
Bentley Sills, a junior elementary education major, has been playing Dungeons & Dragons for a year and a half. Sills decided to play Dungeons & Dragons with the people she worked with and loved the game.
“I have made new friends from Dungeons & Dragons, and they are my closest friends now,” Sills said. “We hang out almost every day, and we text all the time.”
Sills said Dungeons & Dragons is a good source for artistic expression. She said the game has helped her become more creative, and it has been some of the most fun she has had.
“Most people do not realize what all goes into Dungeons & Dragons. All they see is a bunch of nerds dressing up and playing a made-up game,” Sills said. “It is so much more than that. It allows you to express yourself in ways you could not before.” For those looking to add a bit of Dungeons & Dragons into their daily lives, visit Hattiesburg staple Top Tier Board Games for weekly RPG events.