Thursday, 18 August 2016

It's Just a Game (Not)

While browsing my Facebook feed this morning I came across a disturbing post in one of my Dungeons and Dragons forums.

"I was playing my character who was a female Mystic Gnome.  I was talking to my Dungeon Master about the different homebrew characters in the party, that included an Incubus Rogue, a Succubus Rogue, some other race I haven't heard of, and a werewolf.  Well the group decided to rape my character.  When I tried to contest them the DM didn't allow me to because of how many were against me. ... The guy who was playing the Incubus, his stats were 18 Str, 20 Dex, 20 Con, 18 Int, 18 Wis, 18 Cha at Level 4. ... After this I left, and they got mad at me for complaining, saying it was just a game.  This is a fairly new group who are looking for new members."

I nearly choked when I read this.

I have been into role-playing games, and Dungeons and Dragons in particular, for over 30 years.  NEVER have I come across a scenario as horrible as this.  Any sexual situations that came into the games were handled with "fade to black" or "you go into another room".  Not to mention, NO character can possibly have stats like that at Level 4 without some form of cheating having taken place.

In a later comment, the same writer mentioned that he appeared to be having very bad luck at finding a good gaming group.  Almost every group he tried to play with messed with his character in some form or other; from being left in the middle of nowhere to being attacked and having his possessions stolen by the other players.

Groups like this are toxic in the extreme.  They are using the excuse of "it's just a game" to act out malicious adolescent fantasies that have no place at a game table.

Participating in such games isn't simply role-playing, it can be a reflection of who you are.  When you create a character for a role-playing game it often shows some aspect of your own personality that normally wouldn't be seen on a day-to-day basis.  So to have your character do heinous acts in-game is a strong indicator of the kind of darkness that lurks in the back of your mind.  (Unless it's a very rare game in which all the characters are evil, which is another matter entirely.)

The advice that the writer received from the other members of the forum was unanimous: leave that group and advertise their sickness so that nobody else would join them.  No serious gamer should tolerate that kind of behaviour.  Unfortunately the writer lives in a small town and finding a good group nearby has become an impossibility.  This latest experience has seriously affected his enjoyment of the game.

It's little wonder why so many people believe role-playing games are evil.  Only it's not the game itself that's evil: sometimes it's the people who play it.


  1. I've got to say that the group in question sounds pretty twisted. And you're right, those stats are manipulated. Who wants to play in a group like that?

    They are being adolescent. And the game should never be an excuse for acting like that. you're preaching to the choir.

  2. I don't play any kind of online role playing games (thank goodness) but the behaviour you describe indicates a mindset which is disturbing to say the least and 'it's only a game' doesn't excuse it in any way.

  3. I would leave the group too. Your are correct when you mention role playing is a small aspect of your personality. Role playing is for those peopel who want to do something bit want to try it out first. Or they find it excusable to do in roleplaying. Something they do not want known in real life.

    It's only a game is never excuse to do such acts. Who in their right mind wants to act that out, surely not I.

  4. That is disturbing.

    Growing up my brothers and cousins used to play D&D. I wanted to play but they always told me "It's not for girls."

    Wonder if this kind of stuff is what they were talking about.

  5. ah, that's horrible. and it's true. you should play in life how you live your life...even if you play a bad character you don't have to be evil in how you do it.