The Fumble: Major Newspaper Surprised By How Often It's Been Surprised By Renewed Popularity of RPGs

Major Newspaper Surprised By How Often It's Been Surprised By Renewed Popularity of RPGs THE F...PNG

As part of its 2019 retrospective series, the Peoria Times-Mail-Picayune recently featured a surprising article expressing surprise at how often it's been surprised over the past year by the surprising resurgence in popularity of tabletop role-playing games.

"One of the biggest stories of the year is how often we've expressed surprise, in print no less, at the truly remarkable popularity and resurgence of these top of the table role of the play games," Times-Mail-Picayune's resident ombudsman P. Trent Osgood breathlessly shared.

"Over and over, we've expressed surprise as if realizing in a surprised way for the first time that games such as Barrows & Bearowls now surprisingly seem to be the surprisingly cool and 'in' thing. One might almost say they are hip, if I may surprise myself by being so bold. Honestly, we're gobsmacked at how often we're gobsmacked by the same story."

In fact, the paper has run no less than a surprising seventeen different articles on the subject in 2019 alone, including "Triumph of the Tabletop! B&B Is Surprisingly Cool Again", "Hollywood's Joe Magnanimousello Spotted Rolling Dice With A-List Hotties In Surprising Jacuzzi Shenanigans!", "Put Away Your Pocket Protectors, B&B Is Surprisingly For The Cool Kids Now", and "Is That An Icosahedron In Your Pocket Or Are We Just Surprised To See You?"

"We just keep getting gobsmackingly surprised!" laughed Osgood. "It's like a kid who just can't believe that stove is hot and so touches it again, running to a befuddled mommy who is surprised by their child's continuing surprise! Oh, ha ha! Why, our veteran street beat reporter Cal 'Scoops' McCoy has written five pieces himself just this year on how surprised he is about these table game dice things."

"I used to be surprised by their surprise," shrugged Ferby Johnson, owner of Peoria games store The Dragon's Layer. He pointed to his floor space where every table was filled with people playing tabletop RPGs from every strata and walk of life. "Look, it's been like that for a few years now. Those news folks are welcome to pop in and play, I'd love to have them. I bet that Osgood guy would play a mean hobbit Barbarian."

"Oh, I might. I just might surprise him someday! Oh, ha!" Osgood responded when this reporter passed along the invitation. "But right now we're all busy preparing our third huge surprising exposé this month on how many people are using this new thing called smartphones. Have you heard of them?"


--
The Fumble is a satire/parody tabletop RPG news column. It's not real. Also, eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked into a dragon's mouth.


"Surprised man" image is from "Jeffrey Isaac self-portrait", used by permission under CC BY-SA 4.0.
 
Last edited:
Shane Stacks

Comments

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's incredibly awesome that D&D hits mainstream news outlets every couple of weeks now (with multiple almost identical articles, sadly), but along with that awesomeness it's also kinda funny how often they can be surprised by D&D's resurgence. The NYT was surprised at least twice this year, as was the Guardian. :)

 

Von Ether

Adventurer
In just the last three years, I've actually felt safe to mention that "D&D" is my hobby in some normal conversations.

Before that, it stayed my little secret to the point that when I was leaving a job - all of my co-workers were stunned to learned that "gamer" didn't mean video games for me.

"You just didn't seem to be the ... type," they said. Mind you back then most of them were still processing that video games were mainstream.

LOL! I might have done as much good for busting the stereotype that day as Critical Role does now. ... okay maybe I exaggerated a tiny* bit.

*If by tiny, you mean I exaggerated a whole metric ton.
 
Hasbro / WoTC employ PR firms. They write copy and pitch stories to media writers and editors. Smaller papers essentially publish articles like these word for word as they do not have a staff or budget. What we are seeing by these similar stories is that the marketing/PR head at WoTC (I think Greg Tito) is good at their job.
 

sstacks

Shane "Shane Plays" Stacks
Imagine my own surprise at my continual astounding level of, wait for it, gobsmacked surprise! ;);)
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
My wife was also surprised that I was so surprised that so many newspapers are still surprised by this.

...I'll see myself out.
Note that I am taken unawares by your surprise, and find myself at a loss at your wife’s astonishment. 😁
 

sstacks

Shane "Shane Plays" Stacks
Note that I am taken unawares by your surprise, and find myself at a loss at your wife’s astonishment. 😁
I have found myself freshly surprised by this comment three times in the past four minutes alone
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Hasbro / WoTC employ PR firms. They write copy and pitch stories to media writers and editors. Smaller papers essentially publish articles like these word for word as they do not have a staff or budget. What we are seeing by these similar stories is that the marketing/PR head at WoTC (I think Greg Tito) is good at their job.
It’s a joke. ;)
 

CapnZapp

Hero
My only surprise is people getting surprised about mainstream media picking up this. Just because you and I already know 5th Edition is popular does not mean it isn't news.

We're still early in the discovery process. Please stop getting surprised (jokingly or not) by news articles expressing surprise over roleplaying success.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
Since somebody has to be the 'straight man' in comic gags...

I have read IRL news stories that lead me to believe the reporters never leave their offices to go track down the facts of a story. So these surprised reporters could be legit. It is irksome, though, that they seem to believe everybody else must be just as surprised as they are.
Should we track the reporters and editors down, invite them to a game? They could finally gain enough XP to make it out of Level 1 ...
 

Aebir-Toril

Is lukewarm on the Forgotten Realms
My only surprise is people getting surprised about mainstream media picking up this. Just because you and I already know 5th Edition is popular does not mean it isn't news.

We're still early in the discovery process. Please stop getting surprised (jokingly or not) by news articles expressing surprise over roleplaying success.
I'm surprised you think so.
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
Since somebody has to be the 'straight man' in comic gags...

I have read IRL news stories that lead me to believe the reporters never leave their offices to go track down the facts of a story. So these surprised reporters could be legit. It is irksome, though, that they seem to believe everybody else must be just as surprised as they are.
Should we track the reporters and editors down, invite them to a game? They could finally gain enough XP to make it out of Level 1 ...
I'd be shocked, no surprised, if that would happen.
 

sstacks

Shane "Shane Plays" Stacks
Would you be shocked (only once), or would you be twice-shocked?
As in "I am shocked - shocked! - to find gambling in this establishment!" "Your winnings, sir." "Thank you."
Why can't we get a thrice shocked? I am shocked - shocked - shocked, I say - that you only allowed for two shocks.
 

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