by Tim Scheele

A four-page press release was issued recently, including the following:

The role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), has been a major factor in casing at least 9 suicides and murders, according to two public citizen groups. Bothered about D&D (BADD) founded by Pat Pulling, the mother of one of the victims, and the National Coalition on Television Violence have called for required warning on all D&D game books and for counter-advertising to inform the public about the deadly effects.

The evidence presented by the citizen groups is based on police and newspaper reports as well as interviews with family members. These document a pattern of youths becoming deeply involved in D&D. Suicide notes and numerous details connecting the deaths with the game have been found with the bodies.

Dr. Thomas Radedki, M.D., psychiatrist at the University of Illinois School of Medicine, and chairman of the National Coalition on Television Violence said:

“The evidence in these cases is really quite impressive. There is no doubt in my mind that the game Dungeons and Dragons is causing young men to kill themselves and others. The game is one of non-stop combat and violence. Although I am sure that the people at TSR mean no harm, that is exactly what their games are causing. Based on player interviews and game materials, it is clear to me that this game is desensitizing players to violence, and, causing an increased tendency to violent behavior.”

Dr. Radecki expressed concern that NBC psychologist, Dr. Joyce Brothers, continues to be the paid spokesperson for Dungeons and Dragons, promoting it as healthy play. Dr. Brothers has stated, “I reflect for the company what’s going on in people’s lives. The game is very interesting to me because it is a cooperative game.”

Dr. Radecki responded, “While Dungeons and Dragons is a game of cooperation and working together, that cooperation involves cooperating in violence, premeditated murder, and war. While it does stimulate creative fantasies, these fantasies are of killing and horror. There is a need to get the honest information out to the American people. The research is overwhelming that violent
entertainment is having a harmful effect on its participants. The changes are most often gradual and subtle. When a children’s game is documented to cause many death, it should not be promoted through advertising and cartoon programming. Every Saturday morning millions of children see the half-hour CBS Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, introducing them to this violent game.”

The two organizations cited above have asked the U. S. Trade Commission to require that warnings be placed on the covers of all D&D books, stating that the game has caused a number of suicides and murders; and to require that CBS, or others, warn viewers and request them to get the message of the Surgeon General on entertainment violence.

Posted by Tim Scheele on Computer Direct BBS

Computers for Christ – Chicago