Game Play: The game is lead by a dungeon master who creates the storyline for the game. Each player creates a character sheet before the start of the game that decides their character’s strengths and weaknesses. Once the game starts the players decide which actions they would like to take to achieve the goal of the adventure. For complicated or risky actions the players role dice to determine the success of their action. The players work together to accomplish the goals of their adventure based on the rules outlined in the three core rule books that consist of a player’s handbook, dungeon master’s guide, and monster manual.
Critical Evaluation: While this game has a reputation for being played by geeks and outcasts it is actually become quite popular as it becomes more culturally acceptable to be nerdy thanks to the popularity of ComicCon, TV shows like the Big Bang and the popularity of big blockbuster super hero movies. The game is also seen by some parents as a waste of time. However the game requires many skills like the imagination to create campaigns and characters which can help with creative writing especially when players keep detailed records of their characters and adventures. The game also uses basic math as a component of the game and encourages problem solving and creative thinking as players try to outmaneuver monsters and other obstetricals in the game.
Player’s Annotation: Dungeons and Dragons allows you to control the game and control your own adventure.
Curriculum ties: The game can be tied into lessons on creative writing or math.
Age Range: This game is popular for both teens and adults.
Challenge Issues: Some people may object to the game for it’s perceived lack of educational value however the game involves writing, math and reasoning skills.
Practical Issues: In order to play the game players need a set of rule books, a set of dice, and character sheets. These materials could be placed together in a plastic bin and shelved near the other games or if there is no room it could be placed at the reference desk. Then teens could either sign out the box for use at the library or check it out for use at home. If this proves to be a popular game the library could have one set specifically for use in the library and one that could be checked out.
Why is it included?: I have a friend who is a teacher who recently taught her teen students to play Dungeons and Dragons as part of an end of the year creative writing assignment. She got such positive feedback she is now starting a club for the game at her school. I think a Teen Dungeons and Dragons club at the library could be really fun. This could also be done as part of a larger teen game night were teens could learn to play different games every month or just have the space available for teens to come and play whichever games they like and meet new people.