Is Dungeons and Dragons Demonic? (VIDEO)

I started playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was in middle school way back in the early 1980s. I was also a regular attendee at Piney Grove Baptist Church; which at the time was a cute little “fire and brimstone” Southern Baptist church in Cobb County, Georgia.

Turns out, that in addition to “rock and roll” and beer, playing D&D was somewhat frowned upon back then (and from what I’ve gathered from many of the comments you sent me in response to my video, it’s still occasionally frowned upon).

But why? Why would a fun, role-playing game like D&D end up in the cross-hairs of religious fanatics? Answer: they thought (and think) it’s “demonic” or “satanic.”

And believe it or not, I still get asked this question from time to time. So I thought I’d spend a few minutes explaining why Dungeons and Dragons is NOT demonic.

First, I’m not even sure what “demonic” actually means. I know that demons are fictional creatures, but I’m not sure what someone means when they call something else, “demonic.” For the purposes of this post, let’s just assume that “demonic” means some kind of bizarre devil worship.

Secondly and most importantly, the reason why Dungeons and Dragons is not demonic, is because there are no such things as demons!

Demons, like devils, gods, goblins, werewolves, vampires, and leprechauns, are creations of human imaginations. They have been drawn, written about, painted, and named, but they have never, ever been detected by anyone, anywhere at anytime. Zip.

So we can confidently say that in the absence of any evidence whatsoever that any of the aforementioned imaginary creatures are actually real, we can accept them for what they are: characters in stories.

Now, go play Dungeons and Dragons and have fun the way <insert your preferred deity> intended. 😉

 

YouTube goal setting: 1000 subscribers by Dragon Con 2017

Goal: 1000 subscribers by Dragon Con in September 2017 and I’ll do a cool giveaway prize contest. But I think it makes sense to break up that goal in to phases. Sooo, I want to reach 100 subscribers by February 15th. And since I don’t have any goodies to give away yet…

…I’ll call the day the channel gets to 100, “hair cut and shave” day!

Yes, this guy needs a haircut!
Yes, this guy needs a haircut!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m actually having a blast putting helpful Dungeons and Dragons videos on YouTube (at least I hope they’re helpful)! In addition to being a creative outlet for me, I’m also sort of using my channel as a bit of an experiment.

While I know that film and sound quality go a loooong way in boosting one’s reach on YouTube, my goal is to reach 1000 subscribers on nothing more than content and the tools that I already have at my disposal. Namely, my iPhone.

At the time of this post, I have created and uploaded 12 videos and I am super stoked to say that I have 50 subscribers! Which is far more than I expected to have this early in the game.

So if you’re a Dungeons and Dragons fan or if you’d just like to see me add to the list of topics I tackle, please leave suggestions in the comments on the videos or below this post.  And in the words of Bartles and Jaymes, thank you for your support!

Rediscovering Twitter

It seems like for me, 2017 is starting to develop a trend. And that trend is rediscovery! First it was Dungeons and Dragons (although technically I started playing D&D again in 2016), then it was “nerdom” in general, and now I’ve sort of stumbled back in to Twitter.

I used to use Twitter quite a bit. It was a great platform for debate, discussion, and the occasional narcissistic ego stroke (i.e., Ricky Gervais once liked one of my tweets and Richard Dawkins retweeted me so I saved pictures of both! ohhhh weeee!).

Then I just got burned out. I’m not sure if the platform was just getting too mean, too creepy, or what, but I just backed out.

But over the past few weeks, with the start of my YouTube channel, I’ve been taking inventory of my “social media” and thought, why not? Why not jump back in to Twitter with both feet?! And so I have.

So if you like watching me debate uninformed or misinformed people on any number of topics, including but not limited to: science, evolution, global warming, religion, gun control, LGBT equality, and politics, join me! Good times will be had by all!

Here’s my latest video on How to Play D&D.

 

Post election burn-out, Dungeons and Dragons, and YouTube

Drinks & Dragons
Drinks & Dragons original idea logo

As I mentioned in my January 5th piece, New Year, New Project: Drinks & Dragons, this past 2016 presidential cycle sort of kicked me in the teeth. I won’t waste space here listing the reasons…and there are plenty of reasons…so instead I wanted to talk a little bit more about why I picked D&D as my…shall we say…outlet.

First, some history. I played D&D when I was as kid in the early 1980s. If my memory serves I would have started as a 5th grader and continued through probably 7th grade. I remember loving it! But then 8th grade rolled around and something weird happened. I began to give a shit what other kids thought about me! Super weird right?

Never before had I been too terribly concerned with being labeled a “geek” or a “nerd,” but with the prospect of High School looming on the horizon, my shallow preteen self actually started fretting. Trust me, not playing D&D does not alone a cool kid make, but in my 8th grade eyes it was a logical first step.

Had I known then that the nerds were on the cusp of taking over the world, I might not have been so hasty to try and hide from it!

From business pioneers and innovators like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk to popular television shows like Myth Busters, Big Bang Theory, and Stranger Things, it turns out that being curious about things, celebrating individuality and quirkiness, and enjoying  “cerebral” pursuits wasn’t that uncool after all!

How to Play D&D - a sample game session
How to Play D&D – a sample game session

Which takes me all the way back to Dungeons and Dragons. Maybe it’s my mid-life crises. Or maybe as I hinted, I’d just rather spend the next four years in a fantasy world than listen to the great Orange buffoon who, like Voldemort, shall not be named. Whatever the reason, I’ve rediscovered this most excellent of Role-Playing Games and almost without exception, am having an absolute blast playing it!

But playing D&D is not without a learning curve. To an outside observer, one just sees a bunch of (hopefully excited and engaged) people around a table with several books, pencils, erasers, sheets of paper, maps, and tons of dice of all sorts of shapes! That can be a bit intimidating.

Which brings me to my latest project. I wanted to start a YouTube channel. For this project I wanted to do a few of things:

  • First and foremost, have some fun
  • Second, put some videos on YouTube which hopefully answer the questions I was asking when I started playing D&D again
  • Third, exercise a little creativity, learn how to use YouTube, how to create and edit audio and video, how to shoot good video, and ultimately create some interesting and maybe even entertaining content!

Of course I have many other interests besides D&D which include but are not limited to: science, soccer, politics, activism, climate change, craft beer, religion, trail-running, and statistics just to name a few, so who knows where future videos might lead! Which brings me to why I decided that perhaps “Drinks and Dragons,” which in addition to being difficult for me to say for some reason, was a bit limiting to the scope of where my interests might turn. So I went with something entirely original: RyanBays! At least I won’t forget the name!

So if you’re still reading this post and you found anything in here interesting, do me a huge favor and subscribe to my YouTube channel! Cheers!

-Ryan