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Opinion - Big Bang Theory episode on Dungeons & Dragons - The Love Spell Potential

Posted by hawke@rpgresearch.com at May 13, 2013 09:31 AM |
Last week, the sitcom The Big Bang Theory spent almost an entire episode on Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). This was episode 23 of Season 6, titled "The Love Spell Potential". If you were not a tabletop Role-playing gamer before, did their representation in any way alter your view of tabletop RPG? Did it increase, decrease, or not at all impact your view of role-playing games and gamers? If you are already a tabletop RPGer, how did you feel about the representation on the show? How did you feel about the sexual rules added? The stereotypes?

Video commentary here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ajwihdZVtg

Last week, the sitcom The Big Bang Theory spent almost an entire episode on Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).

This was episode 23 of Season 6, titled "The Love Spell Potential".

If you were not a tabletop Role-playing gamer before, did their representation in any way alter your view of tabletop RPG?

Did it increase, decrease, or not at all impact your view of role-playing games and gamers?

If you are already a tabletop RPGer, how did you feel about the representation on the show?

If you are already a tabletop RPGer, how did you feel about the representation on the show?

How did you feel about the sexual rules added?

The stereotypes?

RPG Research Youtube Channel: http://youtube.com/rpgresearch

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Hawke Robinson
Hawke Robinson says:
May 18, 2013 04:12 PM
As per postings on other sites, I will follow up with peoples' recommendations to check out Community's and other renditions of RPG in television, though it might be after June 14th before I have the time (hopefully sooner) to comment.

Regarding gender-bias and gaming/gamers, I have an earlier post on this topic, as I have some current beginning research on gender-bias in gaming
http://rpgresearch.com/[…]/rpg-research-gender-bias-day-1-results

This includes raw results from the first sample, I have other samples accumulating. I have not yet written my analysis as I continue to gather samples. While TBBT keeps hammering that no women play RPG's, my observations since 1979 average about a 5:1 or 4:1 ratio of men:women in tabletop RPG. Other sources seem to show roughly the same ratio. Though 20-25% is an unfortunate lack of equity in participation, it still means there is some hope of equity in the future. Looking at computer-based RPG's, in the past almost solely a male-dominated community/industry, now on gender parity (and in many branches 60-70% female participation).

While BBT has been one of the few non-data-centric TV shows I will watch, as I have stated elsewhere, it has become increasingly more like a standard sitcom like "Friends", and less distinctive program it was. Of course it is fluff, but it was a lot of fun. I am also the founder of the Inland Northwest Ea Tolkien Society, so the episode on The One Ring was one episode I enjoyed as well (not worrying about any accuracy their either of course).

One thing in response to those that said the actors don't know/care about the topics they are engaged in, is that Mayim Bialik, playing Amy Farah Fowler as a neuroscientist, the actress in reality has a Ph.D. in neuroscience (her other foibles aside). I do not know her status/attitude towards RPG's and the like. Galecki actually plays the cello. But that is unfortunately about as far as it goes between a match to the character's interests and the actor's?

It would have been nice to have a least a _little_ real connection on some of the topics.

I have a work-in-progress list (from various other lists, and I haven't updated recently) of Celebrities that are known role-playing gamers here:
http://rpgresearch.com/documents/celebrity-gamers


I am very active in trying to correct the misinformation and misrepresentation about role-playing games, and gamers. While I have a long list of grievances about TBBT's rendition of D&D, the one major positive I saw, and now in speaking with a couple of non-gamers, is as I had hoped, a few stating, "hey, they look like they are having fun."
While I disagree with the ongoing reinforcement of the worst aspects of the negative stereotypes, hopefully the general memory that is enforced for the general public is more the "looks like fun" aspect, then all the other issues. Most non-gamers aren't even going to remember any of the details that we as gamers are so sensitive to. If the general public walks away with just the "fun" message, that's a win. But if they walk away with a further feeling of "wow that is weird in a bad way" due to the sex role-playing, gender-bias, or other issues, then that is yet another increment of perpetuating the myths.

Speaking of the cultural myths, I have another posting I will be sharing shortly, about just how far these myths can distort people's views of games and gamers, a woman associating a recent double homicide as being because "he played too much D&D". It will be new thread in a few days.

Meanwhile, Keep those dice a'rollin'!
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