25 November 2014

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: The Book

Congratulations to my friend Christopher Robichaud on his new book, Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy!

There is a nice overview of the book by Ethan Gilsdorf here.  It looks great, and I'm looking forward to delving into it once the holidays arrive.

On why Aristotle would've approved of playing RPGs:
In one of the most compelling chapters, “‘Others play at dice’: Friendship and Dungeons & Dragons,” Jeffery L. Nicholas offers several examples of friendships between characters and players in D&D (as well as friendships from Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, A Song of Ice and Fire, and his own life. “One reason Aristotle believes people need friends is that only through friendship can one exercise certain virtues that are necessary for leading a flourishing life,” he says. “Through D&D, individuals have the opportunity not only to learn about friendship, loyalty, and love, but also to develop those rare true friendships in which they live a life valuing loyalty and love.” 
I think all D&Ders can speak to a similar effect that the game has had on their lives. It’s a virtuous game, one that opens our eyes to different ideas, different worldviews, different perspectives, opposing plots and quests, as well as pursuit of the common good. “Characters develop relationships that mirror the relationships we develop with other players,” says Nicholas. Had it not been for D&D, he and his gaming buddies would never have been as close. “D&D brought us together once a week, and we were able to talk about the most important things in our lives.”
My only criticism: "No ... Kant vs. Nietzsche vs. Kierkegaard psionic showdowns on the Astral Plane."  (*sigh* Some day…)

Kudos to Christopher!  I think that he rolled a 'natural 20' with this one.


  1. Well I hope some of my questions are answered, at least:


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).