A true hobby, many roleplayers practice roleplay. But the popularity of this practice does not date back to today. For several decades, the community has been fascinated by these adventures. Unfortunately, for a while, role-playing games were getting bad press, which Stranger Things 4 proves.
All novelties, especially when they are designed for the smallest, cause huge controversy. Everyone remembers the video games that are allegedly responsible for the murders. It’s the same with music, where artists have been accused of indoctrinating teenagers like Marilyn Manson. Of course, role-playing games are not immune to this mistrust, as evidenced by Stranger Things 4 on Netflix. In one of the episodes of his new season, or rather the second, one of the characters claims that this is a harmful hobby. Common position in the 80s. But why such a rejection of role-playing games? Summary of another era.
Read > Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 recaps ahead of grand finale
In the US, lobbyists want to ban role-playing games
Outside in 1986. RPGs have been around for almost a decade, but politicians and the media are running a cabal. At that time one could find absurd denunciations, but nonetheless accepted by the newly assembled partisans. We blame this leisure intended for young people (but not only) be dangerous from a physical and mental point of view. However, practitioners talk about social and recreational activities. A situation reminiscent of what is still known from video games.
In the US, this war against RPGs has gone very far. Numerous lobbying efforts are carried out with the Federal Trade Commission. We ask for it messages are displayed to warn of possible risks. These lobbies talk about possible youth suicides.
Worse, supporters of Satanism (beliefs based on Satan – ed.) are accused of role-playing games. Law enforcement agencies use explanatory pamphlets during interrogations. They were distributed by an organization called Worried about Dungeons & Dragons (ADB).
Some anti-RPG organizations even want to complete ban as girls Saint Paul. The religious community responsible for spreading the gospel through the media and communication media.
In 1979, the role player was accused of being involved in the disappearance.
It was in 1979 that the role-playing game experienced the worst of the press, propelling it to the forefront of the global stage. A student, James Dallas Egbert III, has gone missing. In the press, his disappearance is associated with the “Dungeon and the Dragon.” Investigators believe the young man… considered to be his character.
In the end, James Dallas Egbert III committed suicide. The reports speak of personal problems such as depression, loneliness, parental pressure, or difficulty accepting one’s homosexuality.
It is now generally accepted that role-playing games do not cause problematic behavior. On the contrary, we emphasize the benefits of this practice. Even if opponents are still motivated by their outdated vision.
Other examples include the suicide of the young Irving Pulling II. While playing Dungeons and Dragons, his teacher cursed his character. The teenager’s mother was convinced that for this reason he committed suicide.
Culture is involved, for example Monster maze
In 1981, writer Rona Jaffe published Labyrinths and monsters. The novel is based on an incident involving James Dallas Egbert III. The narrative largely takes a negative stance, presented by RPG critics as lack of control over reality, hallucinations or even violence. Feature film released a year later Monster maze airs on CBS. Tom Hanks, young and unknown, plays the role of Robbie. And we’re giving it to you in a thousand, it’s about a fragile teenager who takes his part of the role-playing game very seriously.
After playing in a scary place, he takes himself for his character and disappears, taking disturbing behavior. Frontal accusation against this practice. Or when a culture joins the moral panic movement!
Moral panic in France
France has nothing to envy the US in terms of moral panic about role-playing games. Surprisingly, even at the dawn of the 2000s, reactionary speeches abound. Best example? Episode dedicated to this practice in the show Throw off your masks Mireille Dumas on air between 1992 and 1996. And the name is very oriented: ” Attention, dangerous games “.
Years later, it’s hard not to laugh at this episode. Throw off your masks. Mireille Dumas seems convinced, but, above all, reinforced in her position by the speakers. An iconic moment for roleplayers!
Fortunately, there are much more measured specialists at this time. In 1990, according to INA, psychologist Claude Pigott took a hopeful stance on role-playing games. According to the doctor, after the end of the game players” lay down your arms, undress and go home “. Despite everything, the latter thinks he can there is a risk of split personality if the game drags on.
In its 4th season, very strange things adopted mocking stance by presenting a character as opposed to role-playing games. I must say that during the time of the series, many opposed this practice. However, I’m not sure that this is the biggest danger threatening the children of the series. We remember that in front of them is Vecna, a creature from the Upside Down.