Gaming Dragons

Happy Birthday to Dungeons and Dragons!

D&D Logo Image

Current Dungeons & Dragons logo, borrowed from Wikipedia.

We celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday today, but that’s not what makes this date special to millions of gamers around the world. Today marked the 40th anniversary of one of the most recognized dragon-related names around: Dungeons and Dragons, also commonly called by its initials, D&D.  On January 26, 1974, the world got its first look at the role-playing game that would be the first to make it big, paving the way for countless expansions, revisions, and spin-offs.

For those who aren’t familiar with the system, Dungeons and Dragons is tabletop role-playing game (RPG). In basic terms, that means that it’s a game where players gather together around a table or other comfortable space to role-play their fantasy characters. Under the direction of the storyteller and game organizer, known in D&D as the Dungeon Master (DM), the party of players will verbally act out adventures together. While adventuring, dungeon-delving, and monster-killing (typically over multiple sessions), characters will use and earn skill points, collect loot, and level up into stronger characters.  The game is flexible, with plenty of opportunity for creative story-telling and unique character designs,  so it’s no wonder that fantasy-loving, game-loving individuals of all ages find themselves drawn to Dungeons and Dragons.

Not all of D&D’s publicity has been good–because the game has a big spell-casting element to it and included demons and naked human-like creatures in its early monster guides, many religious communities have protested it over the years. If there is a difference between the magic of a fictional world and the spells of witchcraft, they didn’t care to see the difference. Despite such biases and stereotypes, though, the company kept making the game–and fans kept playing it.

I love fantasy stories and games of all sorts, so I’ve cautiously set some of my preconceptions aside to take a stab at D&D and other table-top RPGs. If I’ve enjoyed PC role-playing games like Knights of the Old Republic and the Elder Scrolls games, why not try out one that gets me away from my computer and interacting with other people? My first experiences have been amusing and bumpy at best, and I’ll share a snippet of them with you in my next post. Yes, there will be dragons involved!

Until then, happy birthday, D&D! I may not have given you nearly as much consideration today as I did to a certain man who shares your birthday, but congratulations nonetheless on making it to the big four-zero!

Categories: Gaming Dragons | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dragons Everyone Talks About (2): Video Games

It’s time for another pile of articles from the good old Google News search on the topic “dragons.” Today’s common topic is video game reviews and announcements–a topic that shows up quite regularly, thanks to the huge number of games that are out there for the choosing these days! I set the news search to only search articles from the last 24 hours, so these four game articles that showed up on the first two pages of results are fresh. Let’s take a look and find out what they are:

Dragon Fantasy Book II: This review called the game a JRPG. I knew that an RPG was a Role-Playing Game, but I didn’t know that the J stood for Japanese until I looked it up. In this particular JRPG, characters get to move around a colorful map, killing monsters and leveling up as they follow the storyline, which wasn’t really explained in the article. This game was made for the PS3.

Dragon Age: Inquisition: The article shares how this upcoming game is not an open-world game–and then proceeds to share how it is similar to (not different from) a game of that sort. I’m a little bit confused now–I thought I knew what an open-world game was, especially since the article calls Skyrim (whose predecessors, Morrowind and Oblivion, I have played) an open-world game. So what makes this game different? The article says that it has a huge world map, big regions to explore, and gameplay that is influenced by what you do or do not explore.  So what’s missing? Unfortunately, it explains itself by comparing the game to two others that I have never played (Baldur’s Gate and Origins), so that didn’t help much. Maybe I know less about game types than I thought I did.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z: This article is brief and doesn’t say much. From what I gather, it is an XBox/Playstation 3 game that is based on a crossover between two anime series: Dragon Ball and Naruto. I’m not familiar with too many common anime series yet, not having grown up on them, but I have seen a little of the Naruto Shippuden series. Maybe I’d recognize some of the characters in this game!

Puzzle & Dragons x Dragon’s Dogma Quest: This article talks about some crossovers between smartphone games about dragons (other crossover games are also mentioned, but the focus is on the dragon games). Apparently, each game will be featuring creatures that come from the other one, and some of the maps and classes in each will also be affected. This must be fun for people who enjoy those games; for me, though, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. I don’t have a smartphone, so I can’t play smartphone games! Still, it looks fun, so to each his or her own.

The games that show up on the Google searches change as fast as people can come up with ideas for new ones. If you’re a serious gamer, you are probably already in the know about what comes out when. If you’re like me, though, and enjoy games without taking the time to keep on top of every development in the gaming world, do a quick search now and then–you might find something you’d never heard of before–I know I did! If you’re lucky, it will even be something you want to play. Do I want to play any of the above games? I’m not sure. I don’t have time for new games right now, but if I get an itch for a dragon-titled game, I know where to look!

Categories: Dragons in the News, Gaming Dragons | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at