Thanks to those plucky kids in Stranger Things and the larger proliferation of nerd culture, we're happy to announce that Dungeons and Dragons is officially cool now. And as with many things that are either retaining or finding success almost a fifth of the way into this new century, DnD is doing it by adapting to the times. Groups can now conduct entire campaigns online (no more meeting in mom's basement); YouTube, podcasts, etc. have created more DnD content than the average player knows what to do with; and the DnD-style role-playing game has expanded to multiple genres, so players who would rather walk on broken glass than participate in anything with the word "Dragons" in it, can play a comedy, horror or sci-fi RPG game.

DnD is so cool, its reach has expanded to prison, the coolest place. Yes, prisoners are playing DnD instead of dominoes or chess or the stabbing game (never heard of it? It's the game where you just stab people).

The reach and stature of Dungeons has expanded so much, after having our first African-American president and our second criminally insane one, who knows, in a few years, we may have our first president who goes by Zudlud Geodeheart, the Deep Gnome Barbarian. President Geodeheart could probably pass some healthcare legislation.

On this week's podcast, Alex Schmidt is taking his great axe, 100 gold, and a poison resistance elixir around Los Angeles for a sort-of state of the state of Dungeons and Dragons. First, he's joined by Cracked's Michael Swaim to speak with Spencer Crittenden of HarmonQuest, and they talk about what it's like being one of the most famous Dungeon Masters in the world. Later, Alex speaks with documentarian Elisabeth De Kleer, whose viral article and video about prisoners who play DnD shines a humanizing light on how table-top RPG games can provide a therapeutic effect on the incarcerated and even patients with mental illnesses. Lastly, Alex sits down with Geoffrey Golden and Lee Keeler, who have adapted the cult-comedy classic Wet Hot American Summer into an RPG game coming out later this year.

Guys. Gals. Aliens. Did you miss the premiere of Cracked's newest podcast, Cracked Movie Club? Don't worry. There's plenty of time to catch up. Hosts Tom Reimann and Abe Epperson feature a new director each month as they do a deep into four of the director's films with jokes, insane behind-the-scene stories and crazy fan theories. And July is devoted to none other than Steven Spielberg.

Listen to their episode about Raiders of the Lost Ark here.

Listen to their episode about Jurassic Park here.

Listen to their episode about E.T. here.

And listen to their episode about Jaws here.

And to hear the newest episode each and every Thursday, search for Cracked Movie Club in your podcast app of choice or click here to find it on Apple Podcasts.

East Coast! The Cracked Podcast is coming to you! The Cracked Podcast will be a part of the Now Hear This podcast festival in New York, taking place September 8th-10th. For $20 off your ticket, head to NowHearThisFest.com and enter code 'CRACKED' at checkout.

West Coast! Pack an extra life, some elixirs and a poke ball. The next live Cracked Podcast is Saturday, August 12th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Alex Schmidt asks Michael Swaim, Adam Ganser, Monika Scott, Mike Drucker and Brodie Reed, "what is the best video game universe to live in?" Tickets are $7 and available at sunset.ucbtheatre.com.

Footnotes:

Spencer Crittenden on Twitter

Article: Cracked: 5 Ways Your Dungeon Master Can Ruin Any D&D Session

Video: Deadliest Warrior: Apache vs. Gladiator

Video: HarmonQuest: Episode 1

Dragons in the Department of Corrections

Article: Vice: Dragons and the Department of Corrections

Video: Vice: Escaping Prison With Dungeons and Dragons

Video: CNN: The Bard Behind Bars

Scholarly Article: Wayne D. Blackmon: Dungeons and Dragons: The Use of a Fantasy Game in the Psychotherapeutic Treatment of a Young Adult

Dragons in the Department of Corrections

Movie: Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer Fantasy Camp

Wizards of Cockblock Forest

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