- Apr 5, 2020
I think it deserves to be noted that pretty much every other RPG fanbase out there considers D&D the kiddie pool. The stereotype is that it is what pre-teens and adolescent boys plays for power fantasy and that the 'true' roleplayers among them will advance to a 'proper RPG'. Eacaraxe's statement is just an unusually sophisticated way of saying that D&D is trash that true roleplayers will never touch.Now, I don't know a whole lot about the marketing side of D&D, but I would guess that, unless they're all totally incompetent, whoever is running that marketing has a better idea of who is buying their products and why than you do. That's not an insult, I don't know who is buying D&D (although I can make an educated guess based on statistics and statements given out by WotC) but I'm merely questioning your ability to make that determination.
D&D to me feels like Iron Maiden or Metallica to metal fans. They are both incredibly popular in deep layers of society and there's no real telling who does or doesn't listen to them, it could be your accountant or your teenage neighbor or that guy with the Amon Amarth shirt. 'True' metal fans will invariably deride them both for being too weak, too derivative, too mainstream and the kind of music that posers listen to. True metal fans listen to Manowar/Marduk/Creeping Flesh/*insert whichever metalband here*. D&D is so large that it dwarfs the rest of the entire RPG industry and a large part of this is probably that it is easy to pick up and play for beginners and that it is an extremely well established brand after nearly 50 years of existence.
BBT is decidedly pretty hostile towards geek in general, seeing as how most jokes are about how zany and weird the main cast are, especially when they play games of some kind (adults take complex games way too seriously, cue the laugh track!). ST sort of swerves I feel, in that the first season is a very tender look at these bullied guys and their escapism in the form of D&D, which even allows them to keep cool in regards to a monster from another dimension when the grown ups freak out. The first season actually treats the guys playing D&D as a sort of positive, a way for them to bond and later to conceptualize the stuff they go through. The second season is peppered with frequent jokes about how the guys are totally geeks who can't function in reality without framing it all as them being a real world D&D party and has the nasty gatekeeping stuff that you talk about as integral to the plot. It also has Dustin as this insane geek who can't even shake his nerdy obsession in a life or death situation played for laughs when he keeps talking about demo-dogs in an otherwise serious scene.I don't think Big Bang Theory or Stranger Things are actually positive depictions of D&D, they both depict it as an arcane, exclusionary full of obsessives and hostile gatekeepers. It's basically one step off Mazes and Monsters (or Riverdale, a show which also definately didn't get people into D&D).