Dungeons & Dragons #5
So, I was really into Dungeons & Dragons around 1981. I had all the fancy dice, all the books (Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, DM's Guide, Player's Handbook, Deities and Demigods) and a stack of modules. I had a few friends in the neighborhood that like to play, and we had a blast.
Then, literally overnight, I abandoned it like yesterday's news. I don't know what it was (hormones?), but a part of me was gone. The part of me that could just step into these imaginary worlds without that repressive self-consciousness went bye-bye. "Poof!"
I guess it got a bad rap because girls would have anything to do with it. The cool "nerd girl" is a modern phenomenon; there was no such thing in '81. Now gorgeous women dress like Zatanna at conventions and openly profess their love for Star Wars, comic book heroes, and any number of subjects once the exclusive domain of males. You can claim otherwise all you want, but I was there. Über cool nerd girls did not exist.
Unlike video games, D&D is a social exercise. You have to interact with a group of folks in a confined setting for hours on end. It not only strengthens your imagination, it really does teach some communication and team-work skills. I don't think the same can be said about video games.
As a final note, because I know I'll get asked - these ads all come from old issues of OMNI Magazine. I haven't the slightest clue why the text is sometimes not in English. I promise you: all these ads came from English language magazines. Go figure.