D&D General D&D In The Mainstream - Again!

With the latest mainstream article* (this time the New York Times for the third time!) from a major news outlet covering the resurgence of D&D, I thought I'd take a quick look at similar articles which have appeared on the radar of major newspapers and broadcasters recently, including The Guardian, the BBC, the Washington Post, and more!

*Note, this article was written in Nov 2019, but I intend to update the list below as more such articles appear. Last updated Sep 2022.


Image from NYT, depicting live-streamed D&D show "Rivals of Waterdeep"

Just yesterday, the Washington Examiner joined in. Forbes also covers the game fairly regularly. It's pretty amazing that this hobby is now appearing in mainstream media on a regular basis. There's a major mainstream article every couple of months now, it seems. The articles are usually very similar -- the surprising revelation of the "rise" or "resurgence" of D&D, and reports that D&D is now 'out of the basement', a few words from somebody at WotC about how the current year is the best year yet, and perhaps an interview with a gamer or two explaining why they think D&D is resurgent now, as well as quotes from a celebrity gamer.

The New York Times was surprised about the popularity of D&D twice this year - this week on D&D's resurgence, and back in April on "why the cool kids are playing Dungeons & Dragons". The Times looks at the strangeness of D&D becoming cool, while the Washington Post wonders how D&D became more popular than ever. IGN explains the recent surge in popularity, and the Guardian tells us we're no longer nerds because D&D is cool now (update: and then again in November 2019, July 2019, May 202, and then in September 2022). The BBC covers the phenomenon, as does Australia's ABC.

It'll be fun to see what comes next, if D&D's resurgence becomes no longer 'news' but accepted fact, and the outlets get to report on more focused aspects of the hobby -- hopefully the coverage won't die down. It's come some way since 2004 when the BBC asked "What happened to Dungeons & Dragons?" They've certainly got to stop being surprised at the resurgence soon! (*edit -- as of July 2022, nope, they're still surprised!)

UPDATE -- January 2023, during the height of "OGL-gate", D&D has featured heavily. I have made a separate OGL-gate list here.

With a bit of Googling, you can also uncover a ton of local news outlets which have covered the game, such as the Liverpool Echo, the Oxford Observer, the Washington Examiner, or the Chicago Daily Herald, as well as many comic book and general geek sites. D&D is everywhere! Even the Cyprus Mail!

I'm sure there are more! Those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.

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We've come a long way. Used to be you played in secret in the dark back corner of a school cafeteria for fear of the jocks picking on you for being a nerd.

Now we have a million+ people subscribed to various twitch and youtube channels watching people play for hours with the regularity and passion of what once network sitcoms held.

Jimmy Dick

I'm glad to see my hobby become mainstream. As a Pathfinder player of both editions, I understand that my games are lumped in with D&D as part of the overall trend. Either way, roleplay is doing very, very good!

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