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.

merlin_164220960_81de6c63-179c-48d9-b21a-fa977a9f502b-superJumbo.jpg

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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
What I like about this article is that it has nothing to do with D&D. The game is so mainstream, that news articles about other topics can just mention it off-hand without even explaining what it is:


D&D is just part of life now, it seems. Even in emergency shelters.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
D&D is just part of life now, it seems. Even in emergency shelters.
Roleplaying has been used by therapists and counselors for years now, so this makes a ton of sense, and D&D's higher profile probably makes it a much easier sell than roleplaying may have been in the past.

"Oh, we're not talking about your trauma, wink wink, we're just going on an adventure where you happen to have an opportunity to help someone whose trauma is coincidentally similar to yours."
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member


darjr

I crit!



Pretty good article, but for one glaring error. And they are not the only ones to make it: it was Tolkien Enterprises (Saul Zaentz's company), not the Tolkien Estate that threatened legal action against early versions of D&D.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Has D&D popped up in the mainstream again? Now seems like an interesting time.
Very much so. I made a separate OGL-gate list here:

 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Heh odds on movie flopping?
Low.

Not that they're qualitatively equivalent, but look at all the times the far-right has tried to cancel/boycott/review bomb "woke" blockbusters. Wonder Woman and Black Panther did just fine, as did most of the rest.

A similar effort by D&D fans would hurt, but likely not derail a film clearly designed to have mainstream appeal.

OTOH, I expect the mainstream articles leading up to the movie's release are often going to mention the OGL thing. WotC is going to find themselves answering a lot of awkward questions at a time they should be taking their victory lap.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Low.

Not that they're qualitatively equivalent, but look at all the times the far-right has tried to cancel/boycott/review bomb "woke" blockbusters. Wonder Woman and Black Panther did just fine, as did most of the rest.

A similar effort by D&D fans would hurt, but likely not derail a film clearly designed to have mainstream appeal.

OTOH, I expect the mainstream articles leading up to the movie's release are often going to mention the OGL thing. WotC is going to find themselves answering a lot of awkward questions at a time they should be taking their victory lap.

Well it's also being released in March.

Think it has to make around $300 million to not flop.

And it's not part of a successful movie franchise.

So there's that.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Well it's also being released in March.

Think it has to make around $300 million to not flop.

And it's not part of a successful movie franchise.

So there's that.
March is when spring break starts in the U.S. This was going to be a Guardians of the Galaxy-style good time. WotC will have to work lightning-fast to prevent the OGL narrative from getting all over their publicity tour, though.
 



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