I was listening to a local Toronto radio station yesterday morning on my long haul into work. The DJs were discussing the 2016 finalists for the National Toy Hall of Fame. One of the finalists this year is Dungeons and Dragons.
Then one of the DJs made an offhand comment about girls not playing D&D. Whether he meant to say he didn’t remember or know of any girls in his youth who played back in the day, or that he has never seen any girls playing recently, really struck a chord with me.
I had tons of fun playing D&D in my youth, and I am very excited at the prospect that both my son and daughter will one day ask to play. Then I will send them on an epic quest through the house to unearth my old manuals and dwarven dice of good fortune. Maybe they can find them, because I have no clue where they ended up.
So I stewed (Not Stu’ed) about this flippant comment for a little while. Such a level of public sexism really irked me. I know so many women who play a variety of RPGs and other pen and paper games. These games, in the right hands, can teach all kids all kinds of positive values: creativity, teamwork, mathematics, language and communication skills, self respect, moral values and especially friendship. Whether a boy or a girl, D&D has something to offer everyone. AND D&D is fun as all heck! If you don’t believe me, check out this article from the CBC. Turns out, I am not the only one who feels this way.
In this article they note the rise in young girls’ interest in playing D&D. The organizers sound like they are doing it all right by including a female teen mentor and organizer that not only gets the game, but also gets what the game can offer to children, especially girls. I like that the emphasis is more on team work and building heroes, rather than hack and slash and loot mentality.
So there. There is hope. Go forth and find more positive examples like this to show our sons and daughters in an effort to raise them well, show them how to be inclusive individuals all while under the guise of having a good time.
So the next time anyone, boy or girl, young or old, asks to roll with you. Let them. You have no idea what you are cutting off from their life when you say, “No.”
Now back to listening to my new favourite indie radio station.