As the best-selling tabletop role-playing game ever, Dungeons & Dragons has had its ups and downs. Weirdly enough, these recent years, the game has been going up and up without much of the downs. In its 45 years of history, the number of D&D players now is higher than ever.
One would think that with tons of modern video games coming out every year, such an old-school “nerdy” game would get kicked to the sidelines. D&D, however, doesn’t look like it’s going to lose traction any time soon. What’s going on here?
Why Does Dungeons & Dragons Getting More Popular?
When you look and ask around, you can gather enough intel to conclude why this old game seems to attract more players by the year. We did our own research, and here are our findings:
Inclusion in the pop culture
In 2016 Netflix horror series Stranger Things, Will, Dustin, Mike, & Lucas were playing the 1983 Expert Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. When unknown evil played its hands on Hawkins, the kids use D&D’s monsters and elements to describe what was going on.
Fans of the movie were curious about what the protagonists were referencing, and so they turned to Google to learn more about it. Thanks to that, thousands, if not millions, of new players joined the world of D&D. You can say that D&D is starting to become mainstream now. People no longer associate playing D&D with one being a nerd.
Lower barrier to entry
In the olden times, the complex rules of D&D had been quite a deterrent. Folks who showed interest in the game needed a lot of help from experienced players to grasp the rules. The fact remained true until Wizards of the Coast released the fifth ruleset edition in 2014. The rules were so simple; anyone can jump in and start playing in no time.
Here, have a look.
Like it or not, streamers hold incredible power when it comes to influencing young minds. You have a bunch of YouTubers referencing D&D in their channels and suddenly a horde of younglings are hooked. It’s crazy.
Here are some excellent channels for you to check out if you got the time: Runehammer, D&D Beyond, Web DM, Puffin Forest, and DawnforgedCast.
Despite being a simple tabletop RPG game where players keep stats using pens and papers, D&D is ridiculously immersive. Players can spend hours taking turns with nothing with their healthy imagination keeping the game alive.
That said, many Dungeon Masters (DMs) all around the globe have employed various methods to make this game even more immersive. You often find players wearing costumes and wielding cardboard weapons. Some DMs play ambient sounds to get players into the right mood. For instance, when the campaign involves port cities, they play a port city ambient sound to make things more real.
If you also want to level up your D&D sessions, feel free to browse around ambient-mixer.com. There are thousands of different ambient sounds there. You’re sure to find some that suit whatever campaign you and your friends are tackling right now.
The media plays a big role in D&D’s recent spike of popularity. When the media gives so much attention to a certain ‘geek culture’, the mass tends to pay attention too.
And how did the media end up mentioning D&D so much?
Because the kids and teens who used to play the game are now all grown up and making names in their fields. There’s Anthony and Joe Russo, Stephen Colbert, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Elon Musk, and Dwayne Johnson to name a few. None of them are shy when admitting their love for the game.