In the years after D&D’s release, it did not go down well with some Americans. The concern arose from the religious right, who worried it was blasphemous, got children addicted and led them to suicide.
60 Minutes, a prominent TV show in the States, covered the game at the height of the Satanic Panic. As this remastered footage shows, the conservative lobby is potent in the States and successfully persuaded the TV interview to challenge TSR and Gygax with these claims.
Trigger warning: suicide.
Perhaps the earliest example of “cancel culture”?
The YouTube channel Oldhammer is to be thanked for this remaster, and they begin it with some background to the unfortunate children mentioned in the footage.
While we might look back at the panic with some confusion these days, with D&D seemingly a pale concern in today’s violence soaked culture, there’s no doubting the genuine and painful emotions from the families featured here.
These days, we use roleplaying games to help deal with the threat of suicide. In a guest post earlier this year, Stefan from WafflesMapleSyrup wrote about Jaspers Game Day and whether you can help prevent suicide by playing TTRPGs?
If you’ve found this historic footage interesting, Geek Native has featured and found other Oldhammer remasters before. Ben Elton’s introduction of D&D to the UK, with the Games Workshop founders Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson, is interesting and a stark contrast to this.
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