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Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Stairway to Hell" -- my final visit

Apparently, demons like to inhabit the bodies of roleplayers because they like to
drink Mountain Dew, eat Doritos and Totino's Party Pizzas, roll funny-shaped
dice and talk in cockney accents. Oh, and they HATE getting laid.
Okay, here we go. This is long overdue. Back into the trenches of paranoia and nonsense. Might wanna roll up your pant legs; it's gonna get pretty deep.

D&D: JUST A GAME? It's supposed to be just a board game, but kids play it for life and death on the street.

Mr. Rick Jones... No, you know what? His real name is probably Richard; I'm just gonna start referring to him as "Dick" from now on. As a matter of fact, he holds so little authority and importance in my life, that I'm not even going to bother capitalizing his name anymore. This author is now just another dick to me.

So this particular dick fills a couple of pages with stories from newspapers (wherein other Satanic Panic spreaders are quoted) about teens who play D&D killing others or themselves. Not DURING A GAME, mind you. Just that they happened to be players. Of course, the one MUST be causing the other. But to this dick it's not a mere story of kids losing touch with reality and playing the game in real life (which, of course, is also bullshit anyway), but here's his explanation:

Through D&D, demons entered his body and drove him to commit the murders. It was Satan's evil demons that were interested in killing those innocent children, not the boy. He was just a human vessel the demons used.

That's the purpose of the 'game.' When a player begins worshiping a new deity (Satan) and asking help of characters in the game (demons), they are doing exactly what Satan worshipers do.

I have to stop here to at least point out an easy-to-spot logical fallacy in all of these so-called "D&D-related murders and suicides." Anyone ever heard of the logical fallacy called questionable cause? It refers to when you have two unrelated happenings and you make the irrational conclusion that one caused the other. Like this: There are six cases of teen homicide or suicide in this folder. Each one of the killers was a known Dungeons and Dragons player. Obviously D&D caused them to behave this way. Case closed.

You know what? I bet they all brushed their teeth at least twice a day, too. Maybe that made them flip out and kill. Oh, you know what? They are all teens, after all; you know how that sex drive can be. I bet masturbation made them go nuts and start killing. Yeah, that could be it, too. Huh? What do you mean those things can't be the cause? Oh, how do I explain all the teenage masturbators with clean oral hygiene who DON'T kill? Well, the same way dick explains all those D&D players who haven't killed. They just haven't gotten around to it yet? It's bullshit, also known as the logical fallacy of questionable cause.

You say you don't think D&D has anything to do with Satan or religion? Then turn to page 25 of the 'Deities & Demigods Instruction Manual' and see what it says. > Surprise D&D player! Guess which deity you are serving? Satan!

Hello? It's called a "ROLE PLAYING" game, dick. It's your CHARACTER'S deity of worship. Use your imagination for something FUN for a change! And besides, I don't recall seeing "Satan" in the manual as a deity to choose from.

I remember talking with a boy who had played D&D for several years. It started as a game, but didn't stay that way for long. To progress in the game, he asked D&D 'creatures' to help him win battles. He had no idea, but those creatures were literal demons. When he asked them to help him, he was inviting demons into his body.

Really? Okay, what game is this kid playing? This is an argument dick uses a few times, about the premise of the game being "asking creatures for help to complete tasks or progress in the game." It's been many years, but I recall that my CHARACTER did most of the task completion either on his own or with the help of other characters. How goddamn BORING would every campaign be if the key to "progressing" was always asking an NPC for help??? These kids they were talking to needed some friends to play with, man.

To find out if D&D used authentic occult materials, the CBN television network assigned an investigator to study the question.

Nothing like an impartial jury, huh?

They concluded that D&D does contain authentic occult materials. Rituals, magic spells, charms, names of demons, etc. were all authentic.

Damn, wish I still had that book. I'd love to cast a few magic missiles at work. Perhaps I could enlist Pazuzu to do some copy editing for me next week. Dick should have done; his copy is ATROCIOUS. Also, tell me one D&D book that came with ANY magic charms, authentic or otherwise. And answer one more question: Why should Gary Gygax INVENT names for demons when there is a centuries-old public domain literary treasure trove of them to rip off?

Many teenagers have committed suicide when their D&D character died. Others have murdered friends, parents and others because they played the 'game.' Rapes, tortures and untold other sick and gruesome crimes have also been linked to D&D.

If they are untold crimes, how can they a) be defined as sick or gruesome, or b) be linked to D&D? And the suicides thing. The CDC, the American Association of Suicidology, and Canadian Center for Health & Welfare have all concluded that there is no causal link between fantasy gaming and suicide. See, they didn't fall into that questionable cause trap.

Okay, I think I've had enough of this drivel. It was fun while it lasted, but now it's just... not.