I am a Dungeon Master. I know, I know, this conjures up images of 12-year-old boys with chronic acne and a Mountain Dew addiction in 1982. I know the stereotypes, I believed them at one point too. Basements, incense, black cloaks, and Doritos-stained fingers attached to the limbs of unstable, social outcasts. Kids who were into D&D were sent to the principals office because their teachers caught them doodling dragons and elf mistresses in the margins of their history notes. And it was always boys, right? Girls never played. We girls were too busy counting our jelly bracelets and daydreaming about going to the movies with Jonathan Taylor Thomas or Shaun from boy meets world. Now, if Jonathan and Shaun killed an umber hulk, I for one would have traded in my Lisa Frank binders for the Dungeon Masters Guide. But alas, me and my 137 black jelly bracelets had much better things to do than play a silly old board game.
As much as I tried to fight it, my preconceived ideas were conquered and D&D won me over like the quiet, outcast wallflower that is so not your type but is kind of funny and has great manners. What’s one date, you think? It never hurts to have another friend, right? Next thing you know, you’re going steady and can’t wait for your friends to meet D&D. Ladies, I implore you to come into this world with me. What’s one date?
OK, so, this is a roleplaying game- what the heck is roleplaying? Most people picture either kinky sex or guys dressed in mid evil garb at the local park on Saturday afternoon. Let’s flashback to high school. I know, I know, the bad images are coming back but bear with me. Did you have a debate club? They ran those mock trials after School? Charles is the plastic bottle factory and Susan’s Greenpeace. Susan wants to shut Charles down. Charles thinks plastic is fantastic.
No bells ringing? OK, let’s go back a few more years. Remember your pal Barbie? You spent hours brushing her hair and then eventually chopped it off, only to cry over it because your neighbor lied – it didn’t grow back. What is Barbie if not a giant mini with synthetic hair?
You and Butch Cut Barbie furnished her dream house, cruised in her pink Corvette, and walked her dog beauty, the ginormous white collie with a faulty equilibrium. Your friends came over with their Barbies and you orchestrated pool parties and swapped clothes and your plastic people went on double dates while cruising around in their pink Corvette’s.
Barbie didn’t last long for me but I made up for that with stuffed animals. I had bears, bunnies, seals, dogs, and everything else under the sun. They had names, back stories, husbands and wives, children, and jobs. Froggy O’Hara owned a pillow factory. He married Green Rabbito, an opera singer. They lived happily in their makeshift city, driving around in their shoe box car until Froggy sold his pillow empire and bought the Atlanta Braves. He left Greenie penniless and took up with Butch Cut Barbie and her pink Corvette. Greenie was devastated until she took up with Tubby Pistelle, a crooked cop, who never admitted having any part in the breaking of Butch Cut Barbie’s hyperextended legs. My stuffed animals had more storylines than sweeps week on daytime television.
OK, maybe my parents were right and I should’ve been outdoors instead of acting as the mayor of my own private animal planet. And maybe I just disclosed too much information. That’s not the point. The point is, women have been roleplaying their whole lives.
Women love conversation and get together’s and pretending to be something we’re not. Oh, just admit it. I just confessed that I had adulterous stuffed animals. You can confess to telling a few white lies. House, doctor and tea party all led to would you rather, I never, truth or dare – all role playing games. D&D -a roleplaying game. It was made for women. Why hasn’t anyone told us yet?
Still don’t believe me? That’s OK. I was expecting some resistance. Think about heroes for a moment. D&D’s most popular female characters all have a few things in common: they’re buxom, built, and badass. Riddle me this: if Laura Croft’s tomb raider threads happen to get mixed up in your dry cleaning, before you called the cleaner to complain, you know you would try them on! Of course you would. You’d be cleaning out the refrigerator and paying your mortgage or jogging on your mini trampoline watching a ‘what not to wear’ marathon while wearing them. You couldn’t pass a mirror without looking yourself up-and-down, maybe see how the outfit moves when you throw a few shadow punches. Not only would you look good wearing it, you would feel damn good too. Why? The fact is that women want female heroes. We like kicking the bad guy’s ass. Wonder Woman, Xena, Buffy, Sydney from Alias: Jennifer Garner’s alter ego had it going on. And who wouldn’t love an invisible jet and a truth provoking magic lasso? Come to think of it, wonder woman’s red boots are pretty bitchin’ too.
Ladies of the world, whether you come over in your Catwoman leotard or your pajamas and UGG boots – I invite you to join me on an adventure.
* and bring some Doritos with you – stereotypes be damned – I like Doritos*