Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: “Kill her, kill her! Oh God, I’m sorry!”

D&D didn’t used to be on podcasts, but now it is. If this is a YouTube video this is where I’d do the fake roll credits gag. That’s only slightly oversimplified. This essay spends almost its entirety talking about how D&D was the basis for some reality TV shows, kind of, and there was a cartoon, then later on popular video games like World of Warcraft gave mainstream gamers a few points of reference that made learning D&D easier, and then D&D podcasting took off and became a big deal. It’s worth noting that this history of D&D in other media doesn’t seem to be aware that the Gold Box and Infinity Engine games were a thing. This kind of “history of a hobby” thing can be interesting (although I didn’t find the text here particularly engaging), but it’s not philosophy. There’s no philosophical argument being made here, no real idea being played with. It’s just a brief history of D&D as portrayed in other media, and how that affected how easy it was for people who didn’t yet play D&D to get started. That’s not philosophy. That’s history. They’re different.

Having one of those trendy double last names, essay author Esther MacCallum-Stewart is pretty easy to track down…I assume. I’ve found staff pages for her at Staffordshire University and the University of West England, but not for the Digital Cultures Research Centre or the University of Surrey, the two places where the contributors page says she actually works. Maybe the last three years she’s taken a swerve a bit?

As abbreviated as this post is (it’s not even long enough to justify a page break), that’s kind of it? There’s no philosophy to discuss, it’s just an uninspired history of D&D in popular media.

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