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    We've previously discussed the original end goal of Dungeons & Dragons and the rising success of video in boosting the game's popularity, but the enormous success of Matt Colville's Strongholds & Streaming seems like a turning point that brought both of those elements together at the right time. Here's a few theories as to why.

    Orientalism -- a wide-ranging term originally used to encompass depictions of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East Asian cultures -- has gradually come to represent a more negative term. Should Dungeons & Dragons, known for two well-received books titled "Oriental Adventures," have another edition dedicated to "Eastern" cultures?

    The roaring success of the recent Black Panther film is another sign that fantasy worlds are changing. The fictional African country of Wakanda as portrayed in Marvel comic books has been isolated and stagnant, a common problem with "Othering" of non-white cultures. The plot of the film addresses its isolationist past and in doing so, blazes a trail for other fantasy universes in how they portray African-like nations.

    Dungeons & Dragons evolved from a miniature wargame with a referee to a role-playing game with as many as 20 players managed by a Game Master, to massive multiplayers where there are no referees at all. D&D's model of play is highly flexible, but its expression in other mediums has shown that the model where "anything can be attempted" has limits before something breaks down, and it starts with the referee.

    So it's finally come to this: Old Spice recently made a class for Pathfinder. This isn't the first time a brand has created a class for D&D and it won't be the last, but it says a lot about gamers -- and the brand -- in how we react to these ads.

    Dungeons & Dragons is well-known for its class advancement system, which over time has iterated from focusing on collecting treasure to defeating foes. And yet there was a time in the First Edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons where players were encouraged to play their characters as novices below 1st level, before they became heroes. These were 0-level player characters, and their story illuminates how D&D models a particular kind of fantasy fiction.

    Fantasy is now much more mainstream, so it's easy to forget how influential the debut of the Harry Potter franchise was on the genre. And yet despite the blockbuster success of the franchise we never got an official Harry Potter tabletop role-playing game -- for Dungeons & Dragons or any other system.

    Dungeons & Dragons' wargame roots are well-known, but what is sometimes forgotten is how much its origins influenced role-playing games. Although D&D has been a platform to tell many different kinds of stories, its mechanics focus on a few core themes and one of them is combat -- but it's not the only one.

    There are many works of fiction that D&D draws upon for inspiration, as co-creator Gary Gygax made clear with his Appendix N in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide. Jon Peterson identified a theme that some of the Appendix N fiction has in common, known as a "visitation theme." It serves as a useful template for how D&D is portrayed -- now and in the future.

    There's been plenty of talk about the future of movies inspired by tabletop games, but the end of 2017 brought a surprise: a movie about a game that doesn't exist. Although it uses video game tropes, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has a lot to say about role-playing games. If you haven't seen the movie, this discussion contains SPOILERS.

    Before the rise of TSR and its premiere game, Dungeons & Dragons, Avalon Hill was the dominant force in the tabletop gaming industry. Avalon Hill has since been absorbed by its competitor and is now a wargame brand of Wizards of the Coast. How did it comes to this?

    As gamers' thoughts turn to a New Year, it's worth remembering how the Forgotten Realms has reinvented itself with each iteration of Dungeons & Dragons.

    Gamers who went gift shopping this past week likely came across a curious result when searching for "role-play" -- an entire category of kids' toys. Analyzing how we role-play as children is illustrative of how we role-play as adults.

    Multimedia titans have noticed that success of Marvel's shared superhero universe, which replicates the comic model of characters crossing over into other arcs to create a web of stories that spiral into infinity. Hasbro has also taken note, and it looks like the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movies are planned to take a similar approach. The concept of a shared universe is a key part of D&D today, but it wasn't always that way.

    Dungeons & Dragons is back in the news again thanks to Xanathar's Guide to Everything ranked on several best-seller lists. This isn't a first for D&D -- several D&D books were best-sellers when they launched -- but it is remarkable for an edition that's now several years old.

    Social games are all the buzz thanks to a raft of interviews and marketing pushes by Hasbro and Mattel touting the benefits of "social gaming." Long before these game juggernauts discovered the term, tabletop role-players were gathering around a table and playing games. But the new kids on the block may still be able to teach tabletop gamers a few things.

    The mecha-robot craze reached its peak in the 80s, but the controversy over who owns the Japanese-imported robot designs continues to rage on as nostalgia-fueled games hash out the rights. A recent lawsuit filed by Harmony Gold against FASA's founder is proof the battle isn't over.

    I’ve known Rone Barton of Iron GM Games for years, so when he shared some big news about their forthcoming Kickstarter for Grimmerspace – a Starfinder compatible sci-fi horror setting -- I jumped at the opportunity to interview him. He had quite a few surprises to share, not the least of which is the involvement of two well-known media personalities pictured here!

    eSports -- game competitions facilitated by electronic systems -- are largely known for their multiplayer video game competitions. But with the rise of Dungeons & Dragons' presence on Twitch and the D&D Adventurer's League, an eSport for D&D isn't that far-fetched.

    Stranger Things uses the parallels between a Dungeons & Dragons adventuring party and its core characters to create a narrative about young heroes battling the forces of darkness in both the real and Upside-Down worlds. But when it comes to a particular iconic D&D monster, the Duffer brothers seem to have drawn upon monster lore that came out well after the second season takes place. THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!

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