How 'Dungeons & Dragons' Can Become Truly Mainstream
We feel it in the water, we smell it in the air: Dungeons & Dragons is growing stronger with each passing day. The world’s best known tabletop role playing game has been simmering on the cultural back burner since the 70’s and now it’s getting close to boiling over and scalding us all with it’s awesomeness. So what’s it going to take for D&D to become truly mainstream?
Characters Worthy of a Lunchbox
Audiences get excited about characters they’ve become emotionally attached to. People wouldn’t have cared about End Game if they didn’t give a sh*t about Iron Man. Though each game of D&D is largely improvised and players bring their own home-made characters to the table, Wizards of the Coast still has recurring characters that pop up again and again in their lore. We might need someone a little more accessible than Drizzt Do’Urden though.
Accessibility and Exposure
We’re getting more exposure with great shows like The Legend of Vox Machina and Dimension 20, but for D&D to take off, people need to play as well. There are more and more D&D sessions popping up in schools and bars and cities across the world. But the lengthy play sessions and daunting rule books are a real barrier. D&D is complicated. But so is football, and people seem to like that ok.
Cross pollination of pop cultural properties is a time honored tradition. Marvel vs Capcom for example. There are already a few official D&D manuals set in other realms than the canonical D&D multiverse. But they’re mostly set in the worlds of Magic: The Gathering. Which is a lateral move and also owned by the same publisher, Wizards of the Coast. Let’s get an official Mickey Mouse D&D manual. It will be just like Kingdom Hearts.
The Movie Needs to be a Hit
The year 2000 saw the release of Dungeons & Dragons and it was… not beloved. Jeremy Irons couldn’t save it. We’ll see if Michelle Rodriguez can save Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Like the MCU bringing Marvel comic characters into the cultural vanguard, D&D will thrive if this movie turns into a huge hit. Initial reactions to the trailer have been mixed. Hardcore D&D players may have some problems with it, but they should remember, it’s not for them. It’s a lukewarm shoreline for your Facebook-loving aunt and her annoying 9 year old to begin to wade into the waters.