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I'm curious. Did the UK, or Europe in general have the same negative views of RPGs or AD&D that North America had in the 80s because of perceived "satanism"?

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7 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

I'm curious. Did the UK, or Europe in general have the same negative views of RPGs or AD&D that North America had in the 80s because of perceived "satanism"?

 

Not in the UK, at least not to anything like the same degree.  I certainly never encountered any such issues.

I get the impression that the US is generally a much more religious country than the UK.

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On 5/29/2018 at 10:15 AM, Cranky Dog said:

I'm curious. Did the UK, or Europe in general have the same negative views of RPGs or AD&D that North America had in the 80s because of perceived "satanism"?

Even in the US, that was less widespread than the 700 Club might have had you believe.

 

One of the players in the very first D&D game I ever ran was a Catholic priest.

 

 

 

The Auld Grump

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On 5/29/2018 at 6:13 PM, alchemist said:

 

Not in the UK, at least not to anything like the same degree.  I certainly never encountered any such issues.

I get the impression that the US is generally a much more religious country than the UK.

I ran into it a couple of times from parents of girls  in my school.

 

I think most people realized it was nonsense even here.

 

But I DO know that most of my fellow pagans, neo, Wicca, or otherwise that I have known and worshipped with ARE people that have played RPGs.

 

Most BEFORE they became pagans.

Edited by PaganMegan
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20 hours ago, TheAuldGrump said:

Even in the US, that was less widespread than the 700 Club might have had you believe.

It's hard for me to tell exactly, because I lived in Australia from 85-88, but it seems to me like that was the worst period of it in the US. 

 

I started playing D&D in 78 in 8th grade.  At that point those of us who played sort of kept to ourselves, mostly because it was a geeky activity looked down upon by the popular kids, not because of any perception of it being "bad".   But things changed when I got into the later years of high school.  A bunch of people we were playing with stopped playing because of the growing perception of it being bad, and their parents making them.   There were no parents screaming at the schools about us playing, but it did seem like parents were pressuring their kids not to play.  I started playing more Traveller in HS because friends who couldn't play D&D could play Traveller. 

 

As I graduated from High School, it just got worse and worse. Once I was in the Navy, despite the fact there were several other players around, there was still some pressure from some individuals not to play.  I had a roommate in my Navy Electronics School who got me booted from his room, largely because he and the company commander had issues with D&D.  That was early 85, and it felt like things were getting worse - then I went off to Australia, and when I came back it seemed like things were about the same as when I left, but winding in the other direction, towards more acceptance. 

 

 

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Spent most of my youth in south Texas, and as I recall, there were plenty of folks who could say "Well, we've heard it is just as satanic as blood rituals, baby sacrifices, and runnin' around in the woods with no clo'es on, and we are prepared to act accordingly," although nearly no one I ever spoke to could explain why or where this information came from. I'm guessing it circulated at a great many covered dish suppers or something.

Loved the video, though. Myghod, those old game boxes...

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2 hours ago, PaganMegan said:

But I DO know that most of my fellow pagans, neo, Wicca, or otherwise that I have know it worshipped with ARE people that have played RPGs.

 

Most BEFORE they became pagans.

 

My late brother was a pagan.  We played D&D together both before and after he became a pagan.  I don't think there was ever any question of any conflict.

 

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On 5/29/2018 at 6:13 PM, alchemist said:

 

Not in the UK, at least not to anything like the same degree.  I certainly never encountered any such issues.

I get the impression that the US is generally a much more religious country than the UK.

In a way, I always figured it would fare better in Europe since nearly all swords and sorcery tropes are part of traditional European folklore and you can find actual castles and ruins all over the place.

 

Why worry about witchcraft (the nasty stereotypical ones) and satanism when you have the Legends of King Arthur and faeries deeply ingrained in your culture.

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I was living in Texas at the time of the "Satanic Panic" and while there was a fair amount of negative press hardly anyone really paid it much attention. There were plenty of players and groups regardless of their individual religious preferences.

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Does anyone have a link to Dark Dungeons? ::P:

3 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

Spent most of my youth in south Texas, and as I recall, there were plenty of folks who could say "Well, we've heard it is just as satanic as blood rituals, baby sacrifices, and runnin' around in the woods with no clo'es on, and we are prepared to act accordingly," although nearly no one I ever spoke to could explain why or where this information came from. I'm guessing it circulated at a great many covered dish suppers or something.

Loved the video, though. Myghod, those old game boxes...

 

They were part right at least.

 

I enjoy RPGs AND running' around in the woods with no Clo'es on.

 

It's how I got my husband! :lol:

 

 

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On 5/29/2018 at 5:13 PM, alchemist said:

 

Not in the UK, at least not to anything like the same degree.  I certainly never encountered any such issues.

I get the impression that the US is generally a much more religious country than the UK.

 

I wouldn't say the US is more religious overall, just that there are a few groups who are more aggressive in their convictions. 

 

1 hour ago, DanH said:

I was living in Texas at the time of the "Satanic Panic" and while there was a fair amount of negative press hardly anyone really paid it much attention. There were plenty of players and groups regardless of their individual religious preferences.

 

I was there at the same time,  and the kids across the back fence from us had their books taken and burned at church.  I was just talking with a guy from the midwest over the weekend who said he got stopped by the police once after leaving the game store, and had his bag searched for satanic material.  

 

My parents were more worried about the music I was listening to than the game. I wasn't allowed to listen to "made up words" in the song lyrics, on the off chance they might be satanic.  My mom heard my Peter Schilling tape (in the original German) and had a complete freak out. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

In a way, I always figured it would fare better in Europe since nearly all swords and sorcery tropes are part of traditional European folklore and you can find actual castles and ruins all over the place.

 

Why worry about witchcraft (the nasty stereotypical ones) and satanism when you have the Legends of King Arthur and faeries deeply ingrained in your culture.


I have known more'n a few Brits and Germans. I have come to the conclusion that minding your own business is a social skill that is taught to Brit and Deutsch kids with a vigor and strictness that is unknown in the States, which substitutes "trying to hammer your religion down someone else's throat" as a virtue instead. I remember at least one major network news documentary that aired in the  mid eighties in which Anton LaVey's daughter and the head of the Church of Set (who really would have come across better without the Mr. Spock haircut) did their durndest to get their points on the air and in front of a big audience.

I thought the whole thing was kind of a steaming load, as did most of my friends. Then again, we'd been playing D&D for years, and never summoned even a tiny demon or eaten any babies at all.

 

40 minutes ago, Inarah said:

 

I wouldn't say the US is more religious overall, just that there are a few groups who are more aggressive in their convictions. 

 

I was there at the same time,  and the kids across the back fence from us had their books taken and burned at church.  I was just talking with a guy from the midwest over the weekend who said he got stopped by the police once after leaving the game store, and had his bag searched for satanic material.  

 

My parents were more worried about the music I was listening to than the game. I wasn't allowed to listen to "made up words" in the song lyrics, on the off chance they might be satanic.  My mom heard my Peter Schilling tape (in the original German) and had a complete freak out. 

 

Dang. I am deathly curious to see what the police would have DONE if they'd FOUND some sort of "satanic material." And after decades of working with kids, I have come to the conclusion that EVERY generation makes up completely new words. I can see no other reason for "phat" and "bae."

Years later, I learned that a lot of what happened was traceable to Pat Pulling and "Bothered About Dungeons And Dragons [BADD], which started out as her inability to handle her son's suicide without a scapegoat, and ended up as her livelihood, as she did rather well doing consulting work and holding seminars for church groups and law enforcement. By then, she'd branched out, and knew not only about the evils of D&D and other games, but about satanism, drugs, gangs, secret teenage rituals of evil, backmasked records, heavy metal, and the significance of certain bands' hairdos. By the time she died, she was literally making a living out of demonizing youth culture of the eighties.

Cultural osmosis seems to have passed it down pretty heavy in some subcultures. I had a student once who told me at length about how his mother was deeply suspicious of D&D, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, among other things. Hell, at one point, my BOSS simply assumed I had a Ouija board lying around because "well, that's part of that D&D thing, right?"  And this was AFTER it had been mainstream for DECADES. In some localities, the legend gets more play than the reality.
 

49 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

Does anyone have a link to Dark Dungeons? ::P:

 

They were part right at least.

 

I enjoy RPGs AND running' around in the woods with no Clo'es on.

 

It's how I got my husband! :lol:

 

I was utterly unaware of paganism as any sort of organized thing at all in the eighties. Then again, there were organized satanists at the time, and I wasn't terribly impressed with them, either. I only became aware of the pagans when several of them clambered into my back yard one moonlit night around that same time. My next door neighbor and I were barbecuing fajitas and consuming a large bottle of Caribbean dark rum, which mellowed us to the point where we were prepared to be polite and mildly curious when four naked people of assorted genders scrambled over the back fence.

A long awkward moment and a LOT of very fast talk ensued.

It seems they'd been participating in some sort of pagan ceremony in the woods, when the cops showed up, and they needed a place to dummy up until they dared return to their car. Apparently, they'd been doing this for a couple of YEARS in the woods near Wimberley, up until some local retirees took umbrage at the young naked people running around in the woods, and, convinced that roosters, cats, and live babies were bein' sacrificed in hideous Dionysian rites, started calling the cops and reporting them. This was the first of these occasions, a thing that irked the hell out of me, because I was unaware of naked people running around in the woods behind my home, and would have liked to observe more of this phenomenon.

The evening was enlivened and enlightening. We wound up discussing pagan history, religion, and philosophy, and I, utterly ignorant, was enchanted with the whole thing. We had a remarkably stimulating evening, and we later wound up loaning them clothes and shuttling them back to their vehicles after we all sobered up; the only thing they had was their car keys. Their clothes and ID were locked in their trunk. Nice folks. We kept in touch until I left Wimberley to return to college.

Last time I told that story, my listener asked why I wasn't worried about a potential home invasion. As I recall, my answer was "Well, if home invaders decided to attack me in my back yard in a boy-girl-boy-girl group while completely naked and armed only with a paper bag, and I'm sitting there with a fireplace poker in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other, they showed remarkably poor judgment. Being about half crocked myself, I concluded that if this was a criminal undertaking, it was either hopelessly incompetent or utterly unserious."

"So... they didn't steal anything?"

"Well, they slugged down a fair parcel of rum, but it's not like they didn't offer fair compensation!"

"....Fair compensation?"

"Well, I have plied young ladies with strong drink in the hope that they'll dance around naked, but for these folks, it was a religious experience. That, and I can think of few other occasions in my life that involved nakedness and alcohol that were so damn educational."

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1 hour ago, Inarah said:

 

I was there at the same time,  and the kids across the back fence from us had their books taken and burned at church.  I was just talking with a guy from the midwest over the weekend who said he got stopped by the police once after leaving the game store, and had his bag searched for satanic material.  

 

 

 

A certain type of police officer (in any nation) will stop you for just about anything. While at college I was regularly stopped and searched for possessing a beard and an out-of-town accent. 

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8 hours ago, paintybeard said:

 

A certain type of police officer (in any nation) will stop you for just about anything. While at college I was regularly stopped and searched for possessing a beard and an out-of-town accent. 

We used to deal with a few of those around here just because hubby and I were going for a walk...  And would be carded*** because we were wearing hoodies *rolls eyes*.  Yup, wearing something to protect against the 5C weather with 30kph winds was suspicious to them. 

 

 

***"Carding" is the procedure of pulling someone over not based upon evidence, but "suspicions" of something or other, and it would then be recorded in their records.  Thankfully, it's now a banned practice in a lot of areas, although even up to the last day it was allowed here our local force claimed it was useful, despite there being a great deal of complaints (and even harassment lawsuits) regarding the practice, and no actual evidence it had helped a single case. 

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