Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nightly Frights: Dark Dungeons

As with last Halloween, I’m going to be sharing something that’s truly terrifying: evangelical propaganda!

That’s right: once again, I’m sharing a few selections from the so-bad-they’re-good Chick Tracts. And my first selection is perhaps the most famous—or rather, infamous, of them all: Dark Dungeons.

As the name implies, this is the anti-Dungeon and Dragons comic that was written during a time when most Bible-thumping fundies feared that this role-playing game was going to turn children into blood-drinking, infant-sacrificing Satan worshippers, when in reality, it would turn them into something far more frightening: basement-dwelling, Cheeto-and-Mountain-Dew consuming nerds with no sex life (but plenty of acne)!

I kid. Those people are actually cool, and given the chance, I would gladly hang out with them and play a few rounds of D&D with them. If anything, it was the backlash against role-playing games that got me interested in the fantasy role-playing genre. (Fancy that: telling someone not to do something only tempts them to try it.)

In this comic, an innocent, naïve teenage girl is drawn into the occult after playing a single game of D&D, which apparently provides “intense occult training.” Huh! So tossing a die and yelling “Wizard uses fire” is enough “intense occult training” to allow someone to join a witch’s coven? I guess by that logic, playing a single mission in Grand Theft Auto is enough “training” for me to car jack a vehicle and go on a drive-by shooting spree.

Now, I’ve never played a single game of D&D, though I have played a few video game RPGs, but it’s pretty clear to me that the people who created this comic knew less about the game than I did—which seems to be the case with most of the anti-D&D propaganda at the time, or pretty much any form of anti-Occult influence propaganda. (Remember the hysteria about Harry Potter?)

Speaking of which, it’s strange that we don’t seem the same level of paranoia against modern role-playing games such as World of Warcraft—and people actually have died playing that game!

But enough of the history lesson: here’s the comic in all of its lulzy glory:

Chick Publications

Read the rest of the comic here.