Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dungeons and Dragons is Geek

For anyone who thought things have changed after thirty years, here's a little story: I pulled out a large set of multiple dice this week, to teach grade nine math students about probability, and the one student referred them them as "Nerd Dice". When asked what that meant, she told me they were used in dungeons and dragons, which of course was only played by nerds, and geeks. With wide eyes, I replied "Oh Really". Well the expression on my face must have said enough, because her look quickly turned to panic as the person next to her asked me if I played. I turned it around and asked them if it would be so bad if I did. Unfortunately almost in unison of group of them nodded much for the cool factor of being geek.
     I love our hobby, I really do, but it saddens me that because of it we get saddled with a label that I at thirty five can handle properly, but one for which a shy, awkward fourteen or fifteen year old can feel like a social kiss of death.

PS. I'm not a fan of divulging much of my own personal life with students, but my reply to the question on whether or not I play was to ask my level six paladin.


  1. The question I have is how did they KNOW those were dice for Dungeons & Dragons ("nerd" or not)? What was the experience that led them to that conclusion? Considering they are 14-15 year olds (born circa 1995?? Loooooong after D&D's hay-day!) how the hell did they even know what those plastic polyhedrons were?!

    "Nerd dice" indeed!

  2. You mean you didn't have a module tucked under the desk just in case?

  3. Great story.

    There are many references to D&D, dice, and nerdom in popular culture (TV, movies, music). I believe there's a current(or recently) popular TV show featuring nerds playing D&D. Also I am sure every middle and high school in the US has at least 1 nerd playing D&D. Heyday might be in the past but D&D and RPGs are far from dead!

    Yeah, I would totally have made the entire class roll up characters.