May 6 2010
Today I finally had the time to read Allen Varney’s excellent article “Days of High Adventure: Satanic Panic” that was published at The Escapist just a few days ago. It’s an in-depth look at the moral panic that has been plaguing our hobby for the last 30 years.
What baffles me is that even today some people still believe in a connection between D&D and murder or suicide. In February a Boston Herald article brought that topic up again:
Accused campus killer Amy Bishop was a devotee of Dungeons & Dragons – just like Michael “Mucko” McDermott, the lone gunman behind the devastating workplace killings at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield in 2000.
Bishop, now a University of Alabama professor, and her husband James Anderson met and fell in love in a Dungeons & Dragons club while biology students at Northeastern University in the early 1980s, and were heavily into the fantasy role-playing board game, a source told the Herald.
Allen Varney’s article also mentions a more recent “panic event”, that is somewhat reminiscent of what happened in the 80s. You probably remember the kerfuffle about the D&D with pornstars video series and the TARGA. And while this panic wasn’t as widespread as the satanic panic back in the 80s, it shows that just a few persons are needed to cause quite some damage when they are on some moral crusade. And this time the moral panic came from within the hobby itself.
If you are interested in learning more about this side of our hobby’s history, check out “Days of High Adventure: Satanic Panic”!