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Escapist mailbag: Brandon in Oklahoma

Posted by WJWalton on Thu 03 of March, 2011 11:14 PST
It's been a little while since I've posted one of the great emails I get from Escapist readers, so here's one from Oklahoma, in which Brandon tells us about his experience with convincing his parents that RPGs aren't evil and dangerous, and how he currently spreads the word about roleplaying:

Hello,

My name is Brandon and I have been a big fan of your site ever since I started playing Role Playing Games after high school. My very first Role Playing Game was Dungeons and Dragons 3.5e. I was raised in an Evangelical Christian home that forbid me playing these games and I didn't get a chance to play them until I moved out of my parent's home. Nowadays my parents thankfully are more accepting of my hobby and I have shared many games and ideas with my mom.

I've been playing since 3.5e and currently am playing White Wolf's World of Darkness Hunter the Vigil line of games with some friends every other Saturday. I have a very interesting conversation starter for people unfamiliar with role playing games. I work at Wal Mart and I always wear a d20 dice as a necklace.

People have actually asked me about the necklace when they come through my line and ask me what it means. I tell them I play role playing games and have a brief conversation with them while I am tallying up their groceries. So far all of my conversations have been pleasant and some people actually applaud me for playing such games instead of being in front of the TV or a computer all day.

I think nowadays in the 21st Century, people are growing tired of technology and it's a breath of fresh air for them to hear from someone who spends time with friends playing a game that isn't electronic.

Of course there will always be people like my mom and dad once were and people like Mr Rimer. However I think people are tired of electronics and are more open to the idea of playing a game with their family that keeps the TV and computers off. That's how I model role playing games to be and I think that it is a pretty good advocacy tool in our digital age.

That has been my experience in advocating for role playing games. Thought I would share that with you. I will also point people to your website if they want general information and have questions.

Sincerely,
Brandon
Edmond, OK



A roleplayer finding themselves in conflict with their parents over the hobby that they enjoy is nothing new - in fact, I mention this situation in the main FAQ page - but it looks to me like Brandon handled himself in a mature and respectful manner. That was likely the biggest factor in convincing his parents that his roleplaying wasn't going to hurt anyone.

As for publicly displaying his geekhood with a d20 necklace and testifying to people in his checkout line at Wal-Mart, I say more power to him. Sure, it's not the kind of thing that will win a lot of new gamers, but it's the effort of making the hobby more public that really counts. (As long as it doesn't get him into any hot water with his supervisors, of course.)

I also appreciate his approach of explaining RPGs to others, as a creative and social alternative to electronic entertainment. It's a positive point for tabletop roleplaying in this era of diminishing human contact and face-to-face interaction.

Keep up the good work, Brandon!

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