How most games operate: fixed rules, fixed timeframe, fixed objectives. You simply follow the instructions to play then the game ends.
How Dungeons & Dragons operates: fluid rules and timeframes, but just enough structure that you’re not left all on your own. Players work collaboratively to have the funnest game possible.
Since 1974, Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) has been revered by millions of people. And whether you got into it as a 70’s or 80’s child or a Stranger Things fan, or are not into it yet…this article will help you appreciate all the elements that make DnD such a timeless game for people of all ages and backgrounds. From how it inspires creativity to how it fosters collaboration, here are the reasons why DnD is timeless:
(NOTE: You can enroll your children in dozens of different Dungeons and Dragons online classes, here)
1. DnD inspires creativity
According to storytelling expert Donald Miller, unless you’re listening to an actual story, human beings spend about 30% of their waking hours daydreaming.
The key in that statement is “unless you’re listening to an actual story.” And we’d add to it “unless you’re listening or creating an actual story.”
That’s one of the amazing things DnD lets you do: create a story.
You start the game by choosing a character for yourself. And when we say choose we mean you choose everything. You choose their race, class, background, appearance and personality.
After you create your characters, you begin your quests…
And quests, like the characters you dream up, are infinitely flexible. As you navigate the quests, you determine how your newly created character should react to all the situations that rise up. It’s a constantly evolving game and requires your full attention.
It’s the ultimate game of creativity.
2. People learn perspective with DnD
Here’s what’s amazing about creating your own characters: you learn, especially as a child, that not everyone thinks like you. You learn that other people have different imaginations from your own and you’re challenged to explore those differing perspectives.
A child might insist that how they’ve imagined their character is the best way. The only way, for that matter. But as time progresses and they gain experience with role playing games, they come to learn and appreciate the perspectives their peers bring to the adventure.
Because it’s those diverse viewpoints that make the game so fun to play.
3. DnD encourages patience
Unlike most games, DnD doesn’t have to end…
Some players have kept games going for years at a time. When they finish one set of quests, the group gathers a week or two later to begin the next set. As a result, the game teaches young children patience. If the outcome of a set of adventurers wasn’t what you had hoped, it’s ok. The game is not over. You can keep going the next time you play and then again after that, continually playing and dreaming up new scenarios.
Another element of patience children learn from DnD is that they can’t always know what’s coming next.
If you decide your character is a dwarf, but the “Dungeon Master” sets a rule that puts dwarves at a disadvantage on the next adventure, things might get frustrating for you.
Learning to accept rules and setbacks in the game is a great patience-building skill.
4. DnD players learn to navigate complexity
While playing DnD is fun for all ages, it’s also complex. It requires learning to be strategic, allocate resources wisely, pay attention and use basic math. It’s not quite as simple as rolling the dice and moving forward four spaces…
It requires being able to discern other people’s behavior, creativity, decision-making process and vision for where they want the game to go.
And that is a “real life” skill children can benefit greatly from.
5. Players in DnD work together
You’ve probably noticed by now that one of the overarching themes of DnD is collaboration.
Playing a game where rules are variable, everyone reacts differently and chooses to create differently and where it’s possible it may never end requires significant collaboration.
To be honest, it’s not that far-fetched to say DnD mirrors day-to-day life on a micro scale.
Each day we are forced to decide who we want to be, how we will navigate our daily challenges and how we will interact with others.
For over 40 years, DnD has allowed people to both escape from reality and (almost unknowingly) help people more competently face their reality.
It’s truly timeless.
You can enroll your children in dozens of different Dungeons and Dragons online classes, here