I can’t believe I’m blogging about D&D again.  Even more surprising, I can’t believe I’m attempting some kind of weird (scholarly?) comparative analysis of it.

After reading about Neopagan festivals for a class I’m TAing for, I realized that D&D and Neopagan festivals seem to to be serving very similar functions in two important ways:

  1. Neopagan festivals and D&D gatherings (is gatherings the right way to describe it?) both provide a reaffirming social atmosphere in which participants feel “at home” or comfortable with people who are similar to them; a feeling they typically do not receive in everyday society, where they often feel alienated or embarrassed because of the social stigma of their beliefs and practices.
  2. Neopagan festivals and D&D gatherings offer participants the opportunity to escape the mundane world and retreat to an idealized world of their making and imagination.  It’s an opportunity to live out a temporary utopic vision; to forget that one is an adult and has real responsibilities.

According to Sarah Pike, the author of the readings I mentioned above, Neopagan festivals often serve as a way for Neopagans to escape the mundane world in order to be more “real” or be their “true self.”  In this way D&D and Neopagan festivals seem to be doing a similar thing for the participants.  However, Neopagan festivals require a much bigger commitment.  Dungeons & Dragons requires a free evening and bag of chips.  Both seem to be ways of bringing together people who might be considered on the fringes of society; whose beliefs, practices, or lifestyle don’t fit into what is commonly considered normal, so they feel the need to separate themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally from the world for a while.

Now, I realize that I am making very broad, sweeping general  statements with very little personal experience or evidence to support any of my claims.  And you can feel free to disagree with me.  I would.  It doesn’t appear as if I know what I’m talking about.  However, this is my blog, not an academic journal.  I can say whatever I want with no need for supporting evidence to back it up.

For instance, shepherd’s pie is an inherently evil substance and should never be offered as food.  I’m just going to throw that out there for you to chew on.

I think this has been one of my weirder blog posts; and I used a lot of semi colons; and probably not correctly either;