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The Secret Lives of Closet Gamers

Written by Janna - Published on February 17, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

Picture by !!! scogle

The Boston Globe recently ran an article about middle-aged gamers and their secret lives. For whatever reason, these guys have chosen to keep their hobby a secret from the outside world. Some of them have been closet gamers for decades.

This begs the question: why do we hide what we do? It’s not like we’re harming anyone (except our own PCs and, on a good night, some loot-toting monsters). No matter what the critics say, role-playing games have never unbalanced a mind that was sane to begin with. In fact, since the 1980’s, all of that superstitious nonsense about role-playing games has died a natural death. Right?

Well, kind of. D&D is still decried from certain pulpits and disapproved of by people who will never play it themselves. But that’s not the only reason we zip our lips. Some players just don’t want to admit that they have a hardcore inner geek. And others, being truly insightful, just realize that not everyone is into D&D.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the reasons why we keep our D&D on the down-low.

Picture by Pirate Alice

Because it’s geeky.

Yes, D&D has a huge stigma attached to it. The players are stereotyped as true geeks who pretend to be heroes in order to feel cool. That’s a very general belief, and it’s often untrue. Many middle-aged gamers grew up playing D&D, and they’ve continued to play while holding down successful careers and starting families. I’ve gamed with veterinarians, real estate agents, and countless people with gorgeous children and happy homes. If that’s what it means to be a D&D geek, I’ll proudly count myself among their number.

Because it’s evil.

In some communities, Dungeons & Dragons carries a stigma of another kind. Yes, unfortunately, they still make people who believe D&D is a tool of the devil, designed to indoctrinate young minds into a world of sorcery and witchcraft. The good news is that they make fewer and fewer of these outdated models each year. Their arguments are pretty much without merit; many of us have been gaming for years and haven’t sacrificed anything but time and money.

Because it’s boring to non-gamers.

Just like you wouldn’t talk incessantly about football to someone who wasn’t a fan of the sport, you shouldn’t ramble on about D&D to someone who really doesn’t care. But how do you know which people are non-gamers and which ones are simply staying quiet about their hobby? Statistically, most of the people you interact with are non-gamers. (Unless you’re very secluded, in which case you *are* the stereotype. Congrats.) You could mention your hobby to see if it peaks any interest, or carry a novel or a rulebook with you to see if anyone comments. You’re much more likely to meet other gamers through the Internet than by talking to random people, so keep your geek in check and drop subtle hints.

So I’m curious: Have you told a non-gamer about your D&D hobby? How did they react? Share your triumphs and terror in the comments section.

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Written by Janna

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Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.



49 Responses to “The Secret Lives of Closet Gamers”
  1. Questing GM says:

    From where I come from, the concept of pen and paper RPG is almost unheard of. RPG is usually associated with computers and consoles and they carry their own different tropes and conventions that differ from P&P RPG. It’s hard to explain it sometimes because you have to breakthrough any preconceived notions.

    I’ve only spoken about RPGs to those who are slightly familiar with the term of P&P RPG and among the CCG crowd who happen to understand it better than most other people I met.

  2. Yax says:

    Believe it or not until recently I was living my D&D life in secret…

  3. Pharen says:

    Hmmm… I think it’s most of the third option for me. I won’t start drabbeling randomly against non-playing friends (NPF’s?) but sometimes if someone asks “hey, the group wants to go bowling saturday, is that a good day for you” I wont reply with “No, I’ve got Something to do Somewhere with Some people”. I’ll just say “No, i’m DnD-ing that day.” They either ask what DnD is, in which case i’ll explain a little, but most of the time the part of my sentence that they needed was the “No” and they are gonna search for another day.
    Thats the people that dont know what it is.

    For the people that have an Idea of what it is…. well they don’t mind either since they are either playing-friends (PF’s! :D) or they do some kind of MMORPG or something like that.

    Woah, so much typing in the morning.

  4. chris manning says:

    i have a D&D backdrop on my screen at work, i have some character pictures from the HEX rulebook and the obligatory d20 on my desk..this has sparked conversation with some of my collegues, although many dont understand tabletop RPG’s, but are aware of MMO’s like WOW.

    I recently went to a residential convention here in the UK, and my wife was visiting her father the same weekend, he couldnt understand why i needed to go away to play a computer game!..after 30 minutes of explaning, my wife conceded defeat and left him in his ignorance.


  5. Karsten says:

    When I went to university, I made it public that I play. It was terrible, because rpgs are hard to explain. Now that I’m working as a lawyer, I need to look and feel “serious”, “hard” and “aggressive”.

    That’s why I don’t use my family name and keep hobby and job seperate.

    But then, one of my friends managed to get a job as a business consultant by using his roleplaying as an example for his well developed skills in teamwork and leading people.

  6. Jared says:

    I live in a very conservative Christian era, where the idea that D&D is a tool of the Devil is still very much alive. I’ve done the carry the rule book trick to see if there are any closet gamers lurking about, instead I have people tell me that I need to put that book down, and pick up the bible instead. Better turn before you burn mentality. On the other hand, this semi-oppressive religious stance has made gaming a non-mainstream hobby. The people you do encounter at gaming stores are the quintessential gamer stereotypes; poor attention to personal hygiene (c’mon, get a decent haircut, wash your hair, change the shirt when the pits have stains, splash on some cologne, take a shower etc) anti-social hermitic tendencies and the the whole nine yards.

    I game, but I continue to do it in the closet.

  7. Nicholas says:

    I’m not ashamed of my gaming, but when people find out they usually ask me to explain what D&D is and why I do it. Explaining the game to someone for whom is a completely alien concept is very difficult and usually not worth it. For the hassle alone I tend to not talk about gaming around non-gamers.

    I do have some victories though. I just found out one of my favorite professors is a long time D&D player after he heard me and another player discussing it on the way into class.

  8. KingTharg says:

    There is actually a player in one of our games who’s father believes that D&D is satanic still. Luckily, we’re all teenage boys in the group, so he doesn’t suspect anything when we all get together. It’s still a bit weird though, I thought people were smarter than that…

  9. Steve says:

    I started playing DND while in a christian private boarding school. While trying to solicit players I got my game confiscated. I didn’t really know it was contraband but I knew that I needed to be discreet. Apparently I should of been a lot more discreet. I craved to get my DND stuff back for the rest of the year, so I could play and read to my delight. When I got it back it was like the most glorious x-mas ever. And I saw the other DND contrabands in the foot locked like a treasure chest full of gold. I think the fact that they took it away from me made me want my DND fix like it was heroin! I had started a gaming group with my brother and sister (something I would never advise to anyone). Once in a while if someone from whom I may of gone to school with heard. It was whispered like I played an evil game. All of these circumstances made me secretive in my gaming. I don’t think conservative religions will ever be accepting of DND. And that the only thing they allow you to be addicted to is church. Just like everything, moderation is important. Including church! However, we have along time to prevail until people no longer have to be afraid of coming out of their closet be they gay, gamer, liberal, or democrat! lol

  10. Janna says:

    @ Jared: I completely sympathize with you. I was raised in the belt buckle of the Bible Belt (Texas). I hid my D&D hobby when I was younger, but I finally just told my family that I *am* evil and to deal with it. :) They always thought I was weird anyway. Luckily, my husband and my kids see D&D for what it is: fun.

    @ Steve: D&D as contraband? That brings back memories of my (brief) stint at a private Christian school. They hosted a ‘haunted house’ for Halloween, and one of the rooms featured a robed guy sacrificing a white-clad virgin with — GET THIS — a D&D game set up in front of the altar. I was like, “Cool, I play that!! Oops.. *claps hand over mouth*” What a riot.

  11. Jeff says:

    I’m in the military so it was always a tough guy thing. Sports and killing bad guys was a good subject, RPG definantly not. One day I found out that my buddy used to play and he was interested in how it went now a days. I started e-mailing synopsis of my weekend games to him, and every one else in the office. The first time I did it as a joke, but after a while the non-gamers waited in anticipation for my weekly updates.

  12. RPG Ike says:

    I kept my D&D life from non-gamer friends and family for years, going as far as to tell my then-girlfriend that my weekends spent at a friend’s place were just videogaming… she probably thought I was in a cult or something.

    I’ve met so many nerdier people in my travels that I don’t hide it at all anymore (the President and CEO of the company I work for is a videogamer, and found one of my d20s in the boardroom a few weeks ago, so it’s pretty common knowledge). I’m looking forward to sharing the game now, rather than hiding it. As some commenters have pointed out, many people are receptive to learning about just what the heck goes on at the table.

    I explored this subject at length in a major article a couple of years back:


    Enjoy, and thanks for the duscussion, Yax.

  13. Ameron says:

    When my friend started dating his current girlfriend he was very up-front about his gaming. He told her “Every Sunday night I get together with my buddies from high school and we play D&D.” She had no problem and every Sunday night kissed him as he went off to slay dragons.
    Then a few months later he decided to host the weekly game at his place. When his girlfriend walked in and saw us around the dining room table playing D&D she was flabbergasted.
    “What the hell is this!” she remarked.
    “We’re playing D&D like we do every Sunday,” he replied.
    “I didn’t think you were REALLY playing D&D,” she said “I though that was code for going to see strippers.”
    We though it was funny that she had no problem with her boyfriend going to a stripers every Sunday night, but freaked out when she discovered that he was indeed a gamer.

  14. Rob says:

    I used to be a lot more closed-mouthed about the fact that I play D&D and other RPGs. A few things brought me out of my shell.

    1. Joining up with the Lords of Tyr. Many of the members of this group were former co-workers, and several of them were quite vocal about their hobby. All of this made me feel a bit silly for hiding it.

    2. Meeting my wife. My wife is an avid video game player, so I felt comfortable letting her know I played D&D from day one. Once again, this made me feel silly for having kept it a secret in the past.

    3. Gary Gygax’s death. I blogged about this at the time. As I state in that blog post, I have tried to be a bit more forthcoming about my hobby since then.

  15. Direbear says:

    I have been playing D&D since 1978. I was 31 years old, the oldest gamer in our group. Although I quickly fell in love with the game, I knew almost everyone of my own age would not understand whatr I was talking about, so I avoided talking about RPGs and rolle-playing around them.

    It became a habit. Right or wrong, I still find it uncomfortable to bring it up in conversation with non-gamers, and am usually embarrassed when my wife tells others. But I have yet to get a negative reaction (to my face, at least) when she does.

  16. Kat says:

    I am a semi closet gamer. On nights I game with my friends, I just tell my mom that I’m having some friends over at my place and that’s why I can’t come to her house. Someone told her once that they thought I was playing D&D, and I got a 10 minute long voice mail (I wasn’t at home… ironically I was gaming at a friend’s house.) with my mom crying saying that she hoped and prayed that I wasn’t involved in that Satanic mess. At work, the people I worked with knew I liked sci-fi, but I didn’t really go into the fact that I gamed. They thought I was weird enough with just the sci-fi. For some reason many people think that if you’re into gaming, that you can’t be serious in your occupation. I personally think gaming is much more respectable that partying/bar hopping every weekend. You’re with friends at someone’s house (or other meeting area) and you’re snacking, laughing, and essentially playing a complex board game with friends that encourages imagination and creativity. Some of my closest friends know that I game, but I don’t really discuss it with them, because I know they “don’t get it”. But that’s fine. It’s just a hobby I really enjoy, it’s not my life.

  17. Vuk says:

    I’m up to playing D&D for 5-6 years now, and no, I have no intention to keep it hidden. When we started playing it was extremely hard to find someone who had a faintest idea about RPG(people who played computer versions were the most usual), we even had to improvize, because we didn’t know where to buy dice(as for the rules, LONG LIVE THE INTERNET). Luckily, conditions improved quickly. I’ve had quite a lot of funny experiences with prejudice or ignorance about D&D.

    I’m a GM and when we played at one of my players home his grandma was constantly watching us, finding excuses to enter the room for no reason, just to take a look. Later she told the player:”I think that you should stop playing that game, I don’t like that, it’s Satanism”. xD He tried to explain it, but she’s completely convinced that it was Satanism, even now, 4 years later.

    I had two of my players in my class in school. When I first bought Dungeon Master’s guide(for us the books were very expensive back than, so we all used PDF files, now it’s much better, Serbia is restoring it’s war-torn economy) I brought it to school, and of course, one of my friends couldn’t help but read the book during math classes. The math teacher took the book and told me that I will be able to collect it from our class tutor tommorow. I got angry, but tommorow I went to the tutor and asked for the book. He gave it to me, started laughing, saying:”You’re crazy, you’ve made a philosophy out of a GAME!” Later, on our math class, the teacher asked me if I got my book back, and than she said:”It looks like a great game, you have to teach me that one day!” We all just watched in disbelief. xD

    I’m on my third year of studies now(aerospace engineering) and few months ago, I had a D&D session right after the classes, so I brought the books with me(a heavy burden it is xD), I got bored in the brake between classes, so I took the books out in order to sort some things out for the session. One friend approached and was very happy to see what he saw(he doesn’t play, but he knows much about it and likes it), we started talking about D&D and than ANOTHER GUY came and said he’s a GM, so we started talking. Strange, looks like engineers tend to like roleplaying. :-D

    I have much more to say about this, encounters with other players in busses, on the beach(yes, we played even there, xD), one girl I met because of D&D(and yes, we got together, it lasted 5 months xD). All in all, the condition now is uncomparable with what we had just 5 or 6 years ago, there are clubs(best friend works like a manager in one of those, she has a nice salary for doing what she would be doing anyway xD), on any metal concert(but mostly power metal \m/) you can be sure that 50% of the people know about or play D&D(strange, we metalheads are also commonly refered as “satanists”). It’s interesting that RPGs are mostly played by the more educated(and usually smarter) population, of all the people I know who play more than 90% are at the university(engineering(all kinds), medicine, biology, art, psychology, politics, languages(2 Japaneese, 2 Chineese, 1 Nordic), managment, law, literature, philosophy…). Long live D&D!!!

    And no, I know no people who play D&D are are anti-social.

    P.S. Is this actually longer than the original text? :-D

  18. Jordon Ross says:

    I know this doesnt exactly count but I have been a gamer since the NES days of yore. Mostly videogames but more recently I have been getting into D&D and other games of the like. (Dark Heresy)

    I know this doesnt exactly count and I will probbably be smacked for this but my greatest conquests to date would have to be this one:

    My curretn girlfriend (no names to protect the innocent) would never play Halo. When I asked her why she told me that her boyfreind before me would on various occasions start playing Halo when they were together (singly player style yo) and when she tried to get him to do anything else once he started his only reply would be “Finish me off or I am going to keep on playing”

    Suffice to say she hated the game for what it did to the relationship. After she split with him and went out with me I begged and pleaded and bribed her to play some halo with me. As soon as she got her first headshot in halo 3 and the grunt exploided with the birthday party confetti and went “*puff* YAYYYYYY!!!” She was hooked.

    Also along that line:

    More or less the same thing happened to her with World of Warcraft. THe only difference being that the former boyfriend would straight up DENY her intercourse in favor of leveling up his character in WoW.

    And by this point she learned that I know her and she should listen to me when I say something to her and know she would like it if she gave it a chance.

    I have also gotten her to play D&D and Warhammer. But there is no super awesome story with those.

  19. Janna says:

    @ Jordan Ross: Sounds like your girlfriend dated some real losers before she met you. How could someone choose WoW over sex?! I’m just sayin’…

    Good job for introducing her to the fun and joy of RPGs. :)

  20. Yax says:

    Good stories. I love it when people tell their stories. I think we should have more of this on the website.

  21. Jordon Ross says:

    @Janna Well both of them were virgins when they met at age 20. ANd neither of them had any real skillz in bed (unlike me of course *wink*). When two people first get together and neither of them has any skills two things can happen. Either one of them will be an idiot (The guy in this case) And instead of realising it is his lack of skillz which makes the intercourse not great, he thinks the sex is bad beacause sex is boring. (the fool) and thus feels like WoW is more fun essentialy denying her.


    The guy can realise he needs to work on his skillz (the girl can realise it too if she wants) and then traverse the multitude of books and internets to find ways to improve said skillz.

    @Yax Ya I try and tell my stories. Or say something interesting on here. But if I have nothing to say I am not one for typing in the random and not saying anything at all.

  22. Yax says:

    @Jordon: Thanks for telling your story.

    I was thinking that the website staff should share more stories, or work stories into articles. Don’t worry, we won’t keep baqdgering you with how great our character is!

  23. b0xman says:

    i live in a neighborhood riddled with hoodies and “wiggers” which is fine, but i still try and drop a word or two every once in a while in the shop i work at…

    i get some raised eyebrows… thats about it….

    great update today yax, always an interesting angle…

  24. Russ says:

    i have always been open about my role playing often meeting with derision and general mickey taking, from those who do not understand when i have told people. Even now after 30 years of role playing i’m always surprised at peoples reactions.
    I can still remember a close friend was only allowed to play if we all read a leaflet his mother had obtained from the local catholic priest warning of the risks to our souls from D&D

  25. Michelle says:

    i get alot of questions from my coworkers about the game especially since i use the downtime at work to paint miniatures and work on a campaign or two. most everyone i work with finds it interesting, albeit “too advanced” to have a good time with. apparently, they’d rather tune in mindlessly to American “false” Idol than get together with friends and use their brains and imaginations.

    i find myself however restraining my inner geek around my fiance the most…he doesnt play, nor has any intention of trying; instead he believes that spending more than one day a month on gaming is frivolous and a big waste of time. my comeback? im not spending hundreds at a bar or wasting gas, or doing drugs, and the game is kid friendly. if he can find fault in that hes getting a tap to the nutz.

  26. Nicholas says:

    I suddenly feel very lucky to have grown up in New England. I have never been called a satanist for playing D&D. I knew that idea was out there but I assumed it had died out a long time ago.

    @Yax: I’ve been trying to not tell so many stories, I will reverse that policy.

  27. Danae says:

    I work in the tech industry, so I know that everyone I work with is just as geeky as I am — most of us, however, have a sense of personal hygiene and like to go out sometimes. On the other hand, when I mention that I’m a D&D addict (and I haven’t kept it a secret; in fact, I’m trying to actively recruit one more player for Friday nights) the general reaction is a) that I’m a girl who plays (we’re still so outnumbered), and b) that it’s an even nerdier pursuit. I generally point out that at least I’m sitting at a table having real social interaction with other humans face to face instead of staring at my computer screen for another 6 hours a day than I do already. Somehow WoW is still less geeky. How can this logically be?

  28. Janna says:

    @ Danae: It’s fun being a female gamer. It’s especially fun when you draw up a combat twink of a character and proceed to whup much butt with it. :)

    WoW is less geeky than D&D FTW?! It’s sad but true. I guess it’s one of life’s great mysteries.

  29. Xero says:

    My gaming hobby isn’t a secret, but I don’t go announcing it to the world either. If it comes up, I’ll admit and defend it, but I generally won’t bring it up myself.

    It’s not that I’m ashamed… I just have no desire to deal with other peoples’ prejudices unless it’s necessary.

  30. AlgaeHydra says:

    I used to be a closet gamer. College made me more sure of myself and allowed me to realize that I didn’t care if people thought I was a geek for playing D&D. It’s something I love and it’s a big part of me, so I embrace it and am even proud of what I do.

  31. AvatarArt says:

    I’m not hiding in the closet. I’m just undercover. {cough}

  32. Tiorn says:

    I never intentionally kept my gaming life secret from others, but I guess I did it anyhow. I know that when I did the bulk of my gaming (early 90s), I was splitting my time with hustling pool as well. I know I never talked about D&D whenever I was at any of the pool halls because it was the furthest thing from my mind. But I didn’t keep quiet about pool whenever I was with my old gaming group. They knew that I often put the pool halls and gambling ahead of gaming.

    One story I do remember, however, was going to one of my gaming friend’s house before we went on to our gaming session location. My friend gathered all of his books and notes that he needed for the game (he was the DM) and we were getting ready to leave. His parents were very religious, but they were tolerant, even supportive, of his gaming and how he put his overall creativity to use. His mom was sitting in her comfy chair, reading a book, as we were about to leave when my friend said to her “see you later, mom… we’re going to worship the devil!” She didn’t even look up from her book at all as she replied “that’s nice, dear… have fun.” We all laughed about that as we left.

    I have to say this is a very interesting topic that could easily lead into several different discussions. It certainly is something to think about.

  33. Shard2 says:

    This story is not about me it is about my friend, he is our dm and a good one at that. His flaw he blabs about dnd WAY to much trying to pick up girls, get more votes for the upcoming election, prove uncountable amounts of point you name it he’s tryed it can any one help me stop him!!!!!

  34. AlphaDean says:

    What I find funniest is that most of my friends are gamers, yet we all are responsible adults with lives. Of the people I play with 4 of us are married. 3 of those married couples have children. Two of our wives play. Two are school teachers. One is an engineer. Another of us is a community activist, works for Non-Profit Organization. We’ve all been playing for no less than 20 years, with the exception of the wives who’ve been in the game for maybe 10 years and myself and Kev, wh’ve been doing for 30 years now.

    We wear our GEEK BADGES proudly, and we let most people who ask that at least one Saturday a month is off limits cause we game from like 1pm to 1am.

    So in certain respects I guess we are in the closet. And in others we are definately out. People are always asking me what the books i have with me are about, I always give them a brief explantion that its game. It nothing more than inter-active story telling and we’ve been doing awhile. Its funny cause we got a newbie coming to our march session.

  35. Jimmy says:

    We got my friend, Bobby, into roleplaying with us. He was so excited, he went home and told his parents about all about it. They apparently believe D&D is of the Devil, and banned Bobby from playing ever again. They said he wasn’t even allowed to hang out with our group outside of school.

  36. Labareda says:

    I’m not really in the closet with DnD, the books fill a shelf on the bookcase right next to a battlelore box.

    However I was looking at this very site at work when a co-worker saw the site and introduced himself as an ex-gamer! I went into shock, failed my save and made a few polite yet incoherent statements.

    What was really interesting to me was that I had a hang up about people outside of my nearest and dearest knowing I play DnD!

    So, I want back in the closet where its dark and safe!

  37. Bakel says:

    I don’t hide the fact that I am a Hardcore Nerd! I even have a tattoo of Link from the Legend of Zelda, and a tattoo of Captain America’s shield. I will tell anybody and everybody that I a play D&D. I have no shame in my game. I even crack D&D jokes to people that don’t play D&D and make them feel left out when me and my group of friends get it and they dont. Thats the best!

    “What did you say? Oh its over now… Roll Initiative!”
    My favorite is pretending like im rolling the dice anytime I do something like hop over a puddle or balance on a curb. Most people that dont know D&D just look at you weird.

  38. Craig Andrie says:

    A little late to this post – but thought it was very interesting subject.

    In my professional career I am a vice president for a publically traded information technology consulting company. I’ve been in that business since graduating college 25 years ago.

    About the time 3rd Edition came out some of my favorite consultants decided to start a group. I’ve always been a fan of fantasy/adventure and played a few computer-based games, but suddenly found myself to be a 40-year-old first time D&Der… We’ve been playing ever since.

    Along the way we invented, prototyped and brought to market the concept of magnetically stackable markers (aleatools.com) reviewed by Yax a while back.

    It has been fun playing once or twice a month, but it has also been very interesting conceiving a product and bringing it to market as a virtual company.

    Here is the tricky part – folks in my professional career don’t get D&D. So it is very hard to explain what the heck I am doing with this hobby. I think it is grounded in the notion of “fantasy” – meaning there is something wrong with losing touch with reality. Once you grow up you should be past that Peter Pan stage and into the real world.

    Well, a couple things help me with my business friends. The fact that gaming (on-line and computer-based) now dwarfs movies in terms of revenues and profits and the fact that a major company like Hasbro actually thought enough of the segment to buy it… well it gives the whole gaming niche a little more credibility.

    I also like to point out that most hobbies are an escape of some type once you get down to it. If they weren’t then they’d pretty much be just like the rest of your life. What would be the point?

    So – the next time someone asks, tell them you are participating on one of the many aspects of gaming – one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world. You just choose to play it more like an evening of poker with your friends rather than staring at a computer screen… they might “get it” a little better then…

    Craig Andrie
    Owner, Alea Tools

  39. Kasey Fernandez says:

    I only tell those that I’m good friends with already unless I already know they like games. My friends that don’t play think it’s pretty funny that I get so involved with D&D and they find it hilarious when I tell them about my most recent adventures : )

  40. mrk says:

    I’m such a closest gamer I don’t even talk about it even when I meet someone new and find out they play as well. In fact, anytime I recruit new players make sure they don’t have any connections with people who I might know outside of gaming. I feel kind of funny admitting all this, but it’s true. Time to go back into hiding in my closet. LOL!

  41. Nightmare says:

    Alot of people i mention it to are actually interested. some have even asked me to teach them. some have actually played with me. some are lvl 5 Barbarians by now

  42. Yugure says:

    I just don’t like to bother with it. When people see me with the books and ask about them, I always feel like they won’t understand or they’ll think I’m an all-out nerd which is, unfortunately, the stereotype about D&Ders that has been ingrained into even my own mentality. I’m not a closet gamer, especially recently, with me planning out my group’s campaign, I’ve been lugging my core rulebooks, graphing paper, maps, dice, and notebooks everywhere.

    I’m cool with the idea of being labeled a gamer, more or less, I just don’t like discussing it with people because at least 90% don’t care, won’t understand, or are just asking me to get something to laugh about or secretly scorn.

    Now, beyond that, it’s kind of a chore to game in secret with my friends because I live in Texas and almost everybody’s parents think it’s satanic and worry about them playing because of those stories about people commiting murder and suicide over the game. I wish I had the guts to set them straight like “Hey, they would have done the same thing if it had been anything else. It’s called insanity, and that kind of insanity is kind of already there before the game.” But, like I said, I do not have the guts, so, instead, I’ve been trying to get us together to play after school in the practice rooms of the band hall where we will have little or no conflict and/or suspicion as to what we are doing or why we are there. We’re all in band so it works out alright. It’s just getting around everyone’s schedules, and lessons, and work and stuff that’s been most difficult and annoying. We only have a certain amount of time allotted to perform our little satanic ritual called fun.

    <3 Dani

  43. Janna says:

    @ Yugure: I totally sympathize about being a gamer in Texas. As you said, D&D won’t turn a normally sane person violent (unless they roll like 10 1’s in a row, in which case all bets are off!) If anything, it’s that darn devil music that turns kids batty (aka, Country/Western). When will parents learn?

  44. Nathan says:

    (quoted from Janna): “That brings back memories of my (brief) stint at a private Christian school. They hosted a ‘haunted house’ for Halloween, and one of the rooms featured a robed guy sacrificing a white-clad virgin with — GET THIS — a D&D game set up in front of the altar. I was like, “Cool, I play that!! Oops.. *claps hand over mouth*” What a riot.”

    Interesting. That’s a pretty messed up thing for a private christian school to put together: a room featuring someone sacrificing a virgin… Maybe they should take a look in the mirror briefly.

  45. Steve says:

    Not only does it have a geek thing to it. A lot of gamers (not all) have bad hygiene, or can be hard to get along with. Some of them have power control issues and the game is their outlet because they created something they feel they should have control over. Including other’s characters. Some of them are strange and awkward because they don’t have strong people skills to begin with be it that they stay home and play video games and don’t interact with others much.
    Another thing is that people don’t understand the game, they think it’s too complicated and takes too long. Or that people my age are too old for games like this. That people that play rpg’s are immature. Also that people that play this lose their perspective on reality and start to act out their imagination in unhealthy ways. Or that we’re warped and would like to stay home and not go to work because of our hobbies. Games like Everquest and WOW, haven’t done a lot to improve the image of gamers like myself and I have to admit Everquest back in the day was getting in the way of life and causing me to be angry at the game, and I was probably not very nice to get along with when I lost everything because I could not get to my corpse to loot it or the multiple other corpses while trying to get to the original corpse.
    So D&D is a lot like politics and religion. You can’t just talk to anyone about it. Just like a lot of things in general, people are on a need to know basis.

  46. Gene says:

    Thread necro here, but I appreciate all the feelings expressed here. I’ve been in the closet about D&D really since I started playing as a 10-year-old in 1977. Now, my wife views it as a pastime to share with my friends … “poker night” as it were … and a hobby when I’m actually not playing. From a relationship-with-a-non-gamer standpoint, D&D is WAY less destructive than video gaming. Not even close.

    Talking about D&D at work would be career suicide. I try to keep it hidden though I’m sure that some coworker has probably seen a printout of something or another that raised question marks.

  47. Forest (D&D Preacher) Ray says:

    I am 49 years old and a gamer. I do not hide it. In fact a great amount of my preaching skills come from years of game mastering. I have always believed in being honest about who I am even if this means having people reject me.


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