Role-playing games are allowing Keene State College students to make connections with their classmates and escape from reality by using their imaginations.
KSC senior and Computer Science major Brandon Ross described the role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons, as a way to escape reality. It engrosses the players in an alternate world they are in together, allowing people to build deeper personal connections. “If you want to really get some escapism then try putting yourself in the shoes of a half-elf bard who is getting dragged around by his party of various misadventures he doesn’t otherwise want a place in. You forget the world around you for a minute and get engrossed in the people around you and the collective imagination of… the party,” he said. Since individuals are allowed to produce their own stories, the game generates an atmosphere of pleasant and endless creativity, Ross added. “I would describe Dungeons and Dragons as a game of imagination and limitless possibilities… It’s really a canvas for whatever you want to experience or any world you want to play in,” he explained.
Dungeons and Dragons, also known as D&D, was designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson who wanted to create a massive fantasy wargame. The game is centered around storytelling, as players guide their unique characters through the realm they have created. Friends gather together to create tales of quest-conquering and deadly battles, according to the Dungeons and Dragons official website.
The Gamer’s Guild Organization has arranged on campus group gatherings where students play Dungeons and Dragons collectively, according to KSC senior and president of the club Emma Robitille. Interested parties post on the Facebook page or talk to people during club meetings. When the desired amount of players has been found, students decide when and where they meet, she continued.
Ross said, “Four to five people tends to be the sweet spot of enough people to role-play and brainstorm how to approach situations.”
Dungeons and Dragons is different than average board games or video games because of the role-playing element, Robitille said. She explained role-playing games as structured improvisational storytelling games where players create scenarios they interact with. Role-playing games allow players to build deeper connections with each other and their inner innovation, Robitille said. ”Roleplaying is a strong group experience because of the fact that everyone has input on the story and where the game goes… With this framework, RPGs [role-playing games] provide a truly different style to any other board game due to the flexible nature of the experience,” she added.
KSC sophomore and avid player of Dungeons and Dragons Luke Winiarski believes the concept of role-playing gives the game a deeper meaning by personally associating players in the imaginative world. “It’s not like any ordinary videogame, you are the character you create. Everything you say and do influences the game. It makes you have a deeper connection with the players and the world you create,” he explained.
The Gamer’s Guild Organization meets Fridays at 7:00 p.m. in the Madison Street Lounge in the Student Center. Robitille said there are usually five tabletop games set up and three game consoles. All students are welcome at club meetings.
Ashley Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org