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Dungeons & Dragons: Adventure or Abomination?
The 700 Club's Anti-RPG Pamphlet - Pages 1-2

Notes and corrections

Page 1

Controversy simmered during the early years of the game's history, then boiled over...Dungeons & Dragons was widely unknown, and there was practically no controversy over the game, before the Egbert case brought it to national attention. A search for articles on D&D in the New York Times archives, for example, returned no articles on the game dated before Egbert's disappearance.

Although his disappearance was said to be unrelated to his obsession with D&D... - More than just being "said," Egbert's disappearance was proven without a doubt to be unrelated to D&D. Egbert himself admitted to investigator William Dear that he ran away because of extreme pressures at school and some dark secrets that he was keeping from his family, and Dear published these admissions in his book The Dungeon Master. Also, Egbert was hardly "obsessed" with D&D - at the time of his disappearance he had not played the game for some time, and at the time of his death, he had not played for over a year. Those are hardly signs of an obsession.

...and hired Dr. Joyce Brothers to tout the benefits of the game to school administrators... - Dr. Joyce Brothers touted the virtues of roleplaying before and after working with TSR to promote Dungeons & Dragons in schools, because the activity is beneficial in so many ways.  This is an attempt to discredit an expert opinion (the closest that this pamphlet ever comes to one, in fact).

Page 2

...convinced CBS to take the cartoon off the air after three years. - This was a myth that any "landmark" reporter should have researched carefully before publishing it. According to the notes and commentary on the original DVD set for the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, CBS cancelled the series for two reasons: declining viewership and increasing animation expenses. Saturday morning cartoons usually had very short runs, usually because of the everchanging tastes of the target audience. Three years was a fairly average lifespan for a program of this type. Plus, according to the Wikipedia entry for the D&D cartoon, the show ran from 1983 to 1985, and went into syndication afterward. This means that re-runs were broadcast by CBS for some time after the show was cancelled - not the sort of thing that happens when a network takes a show off of the air due to controversy. If this was the real reason for axing the D&D cartoon, it would never have continued into syndication.

Intense lobbying by anti-D&D critics proved effective when Mattel discontinued their popular D&D computer program games. - This is an outright fabrication. It wasn't Mattel's D&D games that were "discontinued," but their entire electronics division. In fact, Mattel was planning to release a version of one of their Intellivision D&D games to the Atari 2600 when the entire video game market crashed.  Mattel Electronics took a nosedive when people stopped buying video games in the mid 1980s, and was completely shut down in early 1984. It was an unexpected sales trend that discontinued these games, not the "intense lobbying of anti-D&D critics."  You can read more about this on the Wikipedia entries for Mattel Electronics and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin.

What is D&D? The answer depends on whom you talk with. - No, it doesn't. Truth isn't determined by the opinions of who you happen to be speaking to at the moment. There's a difference between fact and opinion. Taking this sort of attitude makes it easier to ignore the claims of real experts, and it is what helps create things like the "D&D is dangerous" myth. For anyone reading this who genuinely doesn't know what Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games are, a much more accurate explanation can be found in this site's FAQ pages, particularly in the Basic Gaming FAQ.

Winston Mathews - The good news here seems to be that Mathews lost his bid for attorney general (despite running at a time when anti-RPG hysteria was very high). The sound bite he provided for CBN demonstrates how little he knows about D&D. The game does not "teach Satan-worship, spell-casting, witchcraft, murder, rape, suicide, and assassination," and while much of the game involves fighting monsters and other opponents, the essence of the game is not violence