5 Reasons Why You Should Play Dungeons and Dragons with Your Co-workers
If you’ve been anywhere within earshot of the numerous geek communities over the past thirty years, you have undoubtedly heard the name “Dungeons and Dragons” at some point in time. While it may carry the “way-too-nerdy” price tag for many, the game offers so much more than it’s reputation precedes.
I first became invested in D&D in college and can attribute it as the only reason I had any friends during my freshman year. Being a shy and reclusive person, my expectations for enjoying the game were low, but I was blown away with how positive the experience was. Not only did I fall in love with this world of imaginative exploration, but I felt compelled to share it with others.
When a few of my coworkers and friends indicated to me that they were interested in trying D&D out for the first time, I made short work ensuring that it became a reality. Six months later, here we are, still playing with growing enthusiasm for the story we’ve created.
Beyond the fact that the game is incredibly enjoyable, D&D (and tabletop gaming in general) encourages growth in several ways.
1) Team-building – D&D is a game built around communication. The entire world, characters, monsters, magic, and objectives are all built by way of description. The players encounter objectives that they must overcome together, and must utilize each other’s strengths. One player may want to be the “warrior” and take all of the hits to protect her comrades, while another may be the “healer,” ensuring that his party survives to fight another day. Everyone has a role to play, and the better the team work is, the faster the group can succeed.
2) Improvisational Skills – Improv classes can teach you to think on your feet, “get into character,” set a scene, and hone your public speaking skills on the fly. The downfall is that they are expensive, and the catch is that D&D can offer the same opportunities for less. Not only are you encouraged to explore outside of your comfort zone, but you are rewarded for doing so by progressing the game forward. Flexing these new muscles becomes easier and more comfortable with every session.
3) Creative Outlet – Creative writing, storytelling, visual art, and game design all come into play when exploring a D&D game. Artists suddenly have maps to draw and characters to design, writers have dialogue and lore to create, and game designers have a very successful system of mechanics to reference, while still being allowed the flexibility to put their personal stamp on a game. The best part is that D&D is a collaborative effort, so even if you are hard pressed to come up with ideas, your peers surely will have something to fill in the gaps.
4) Problem-solving – D&D presents many different problems that must be solved in order to progress in the game. One may be traversing a giant chasm with only a limited amount of rope with a horde of angry giants on your tail, another may be persuading a local authority to let you into a restricted area of the city to further your knowledge. Whatever the situation, players have to think critically and strategically to meet the needs of their objectives, often shining light on hidden strengths.
5) Builds Leadership and Management Skills – This goes for everyone involved in the game, but the Dungeon Master/Game Master is given a unique opportunity to build leadership and management skills when running a D&D game. I can say with certainty that ever since I have assumed this role, I have become more adept in my ability to manage my players’ expectations, convey my ideas, and incorporate valuable feedback into my game to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
While tabletop roleplaying games might not seem like the right fit for everyone at first glance, I highly encourage sitting down for a couple of hours one night after work with your co-workers and giving it a shot. You may surprise yourself and, at the very least, have a few laughs.
In the time that my co-workers and I have played, we have grown to be closer friends, have reminisced fondly about our nonsensical antics, and have created a story stronger than any one of us could have conceived on our own. That’s the true magic of “Dungeons and Dragons.”
Do you and your co-workers participate in group activities together? Whether it’s tabletop gaming, happy hour, or anything in between, we’d love to hear about it. Leave us a comment!
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