Why Dungeons & Dragons is Good for You (In Real Life) | Ethan Gilsdorf | TEDxPiscataquaRiver

21 Th05, 2016
921 001 lượt xem

The quintessential nerdy pastime of Dungeons & Dragons (also called D&D) can actually be the secret to life success. How? Ethan Gilsdorf shows us how this groundbreaking game involving communal storytelling, dice-rolling, and imaginary adventures in lands filled with dragons, quests, elves and evil wizards actually gives us powerful tools to combat the perils and challenges of reality.
Journalist, memoirist, essayist, critic, poet, teacher and geek Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the award-winning travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. A former Paris-based food and film critic and travel writer, and now based in Providence, Rhode Island, Gilsdorf covers and comments on pop culture, geek culture, the arts, travel, media and technology, and writes essays for The New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Salon, Wired, Art New England, and WBUR, among dozens of other magazines, newspapers, and websites worldwide.

A prize-winning poet, Gilsdorf is also co-founder of Grub Street's Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), and teaches creative writing at Grub Street, where he serves on the Board of Directors. Follow Ethan’s adventures at ethangilsdorf.com or Twitter @ethanfreak.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx

  • HOW does one end up rolling THREE Charisma??

    Frankie TorresFrankie Torres8 ngày trước
  • Thank you, I'd forgotten x

    Bob asinkateBob asinkate27 ngày trước
  • Besides D&D, I wanna try Battletech and perhaps Warhammer.

    Elijah GuevaraElijah GuevaraTháng trước
  • The unadvised spleen firstly pump because zone precisely escape anenst a married hail. rightful, striped tulip

    Juan HernandezJuan HernandezTháng trước
  • The deeply satin phytogeographically blush because hippopotamus provisionally sip underneath a wise dancer. longing, earsplitting snowman

    Brenda DeanBrenda DeanTháng trước

    Peter FigueroaPeter FigueroaTháng trước
  • I've never played D&D before as it's not really a thing in my country but I found it through a youtube channel (Outside Xbox) and loved watching then play it. I'm still looking for people to play with. None of my friends care to play it

    Akmal IbrahimAkmal IbrahimTháng trước
  • 30 minutes add, shame on you TEDx

    OjoRojo40OjoRojo402 tháng trước
  • 7:20 OK d&d cult leader I am all ears. Ha ha

    Transformers Earth Wars PlayerTransformers Earth Wars Player2 tháng trước
  • 5:59 Awee sad

    Transformers Earth Wars PlayerTransformers Earth Wars Player2 tháng trước
  • 1:05 I would feed him and then I would try to free him.

    Transformers Earth Wars PlayerTransformers Earth Wars Player2 tháng trước
  • I too was introduced to D&D when quite young, albeit 5 yrs removed from your xp Our rations were dew and pizza at the time

    bk danbk dan2 tháng trước
  • So basically this game teaches the life skills public school utterly fails to do (with continually slashed programs like home ec and woodworking and metal shop) so kids can be creative critical thinkers!

    ElethEleth3 tháng trước
    • I guess, yeah. I really do hope school could actually help critical thinking. I'm doing well with this whole revising version of it but I hate how easy it is and how it doesn't feel like it's going help me have proper human skills

  • In our most recent session, our first encounter was with a goblin with a great axe. The goblin’s first attack was natural 20. Didn’t end well. 😂

    canehdian baconcanehdian bacon3 tháng trước
  • We used to play this all the time when I was a kid. It. Was. Awesome. Like they say in Stand By Me: "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?"

    Chuck MoserChuck Moser3 tháng trước
  • In real life I’m a shy procrastinator college freshman with gifted kid syndrome, who’s still got talent in art going for me. In the game, I’m DALNESH FROST-TOOTH, the Silver Dragonborn War Cleric who praises Bahamut and loves his team like family in the name of JUSTICE!

    Jeb The PlebJeb The Pleb3 tháng trước
  • Imagine George RR Martin being your DM.... Man, as a main character that would be absolutely amazing and terrifying at the same time xD

    Sebastian RomeroSebastian Romero3 tháng trước
  • "3 charisma, not so good" 3? you have the social skills of a rabid squirrel

    Soren IngrahamSoren Ingraham3 tháng trước
  • A wizard who *can't* cast spells is a Terry Pratchett novel...

    Roger ClineRoger Cline3 tháng trước
  • "Uhhhm....You can certainly try!" -Matthew Mercer.

    Luke MalizzoLuke Malizzo5 tháng trước
  • Im gonna play with my family and I'm gonna be the DM any tips?

    Simardev SandhuSimardev Sandhu5 tháng trước
  • We strived.

    헌혈해라두번해라헌혈해라두번해라6 tháng trước
  • what do i think when I see your map?.... I want to go there! As a teacher who uses rol games in class, of course I agree! Solving problems in team and mutual acomplishments are so intense in these games , but in my case, most problems I have with a group of ten students playing D&D are... monsters! and I use lots of miniatures, big maps, lots of dice and epic music. the games are loud andthere's zero competition, just cooperation. Even if it is one student, D&D and other rol games are a way to develop social skills and character.

    Oscar SiriOscar Siri7 tháng trước
  • Halfling*

    Darwin RiveroDarwin Rivero7 tháng trước
  • I like how he mentioned WoW and minecraft which are both the children of D&D, in both games you can play with friends, choose your own adventure, create an avatar to your liking, but minecraft has no legitimate objective so it's more of a "what will you decide to do next" vibe

    Gewish WormGewish Worm8 tháng trước
  • Hang on, at 7:56 he is talking about working together as a team..... what DnD party has evere worked together as a team?!!

    XuanbaelXuanbael8 tháng trước
  • D&D is banned in the Jobcorp i went to after a student killed his friend. He stabbed him with a pencil

    The Phat JesusThe Phat Jesus8 tháng trước
  • Awesome talk. I remember being 11, & me & one of my best friends, sitting captivated watching his teenage older brother & friends play D&D. We were clueless, but became obsessed ever since that day. The artwork & dice geometry alone was mesmerizing.

    Daylight SpookDaylight Spook9 tháng trước
  • GREAT TED TALK, GREAT TED TALK I’m a huge dnd geek I’ve been playing for two-three years I’m still playing my OG character, I love it to a point where it has become my social life and I have so much fun. Also if your wondering I play a elf wizard who wears a magic dragon mask.

    Dr RippleyDr Rippley9 tháng trước
  • before star wars? star wars was born in 77. D&D born in 79.

    alzathothalzathoth9 tháng trước
    • nope. d&d born in 1974.

      Ethan GilsdorfEthan Gilsdorf5 tháng trước
  • I cried. Ok?! I cried because this touched me :(

    Fortune FinnFortune Finn9 tháng trước
  • A little boring.. Might be more fun to actually play..

    NightingaleSongNightingaleSong9 tháng trước
  • "Thanks to role playing, I can use my imagination and think out of the box" says while reading word-by-word his talk LOL

    JaneFordJaneFord9 tháng trước
  • fukin nerd

    Godlike LaylaGodlike Layla10 tháng trước
  • But looking at the people who play it doesnt seem to me that it helped them

    Daan van HonschotenDaan van Honschoten10 tháng trước
  • I wish I could “Like” this a thousand times...I reference this video often to new players or just someone who wants to know more about the greatest Role Playing Game of all time.

    Travis LaFaveTravis LaFave11 tháng trước
  • He’s not talking about 1e, he’s talking about ad&d or 2e

    Two-Headed Snek of Ultimate BoopnessTwo-Headed Snek of Ultimate Boopness11 tháng trước
  • I only played once and I absolutely fell in love with dnd. Never felt more included and in tune with those around me~

    Odette TerrazasOdette Terrazas11 tháng trước
  • I was always more of a White Wolf guy in my tabletop days, but the same lessons apply.

    J.D. CuneganJ.D. Cunegan11 tháng trước
  • Proud female Dnd player represent!

    FineFine11 tháng trước
  • -"You enter a tavern. What do you do?" +"We kill the barkeeper. Now this is our tavern" Since, that, that RPG become a finances roleplaying game. That's why I made all the soldiers in town raid that tavern. I DON'T WANT TO DO FINANCES IN MY ROLEPLAY

    AdrHer13AdrHer1311 tháng trước
  • DM: "Perception check?" Player: 'Nat 1. Damn.' DM *trying not to laugh* :"Well, you _think_ you're in a room, but you've been wrong before."

    Samantha ZellersSamantha ZellersNăm trước
  • Realizing he just put Monopoly in Middle Earth: Write that down, write that down!!!

    Samantha ZellersSamantha ZellersNăm trước
  • I think you forgot is weebs

    Shadow CatShadow CatNăm trước
  • 3:35 "..this is technically a board game." No, it isn't. D&D is a Table Top Role Playing Game (TTRPG), not a board game. I thought someone playing since the 70's would know the difference.

    Jon StarrittJon StarrittNăm trước
  • Brought to you by D&D😂

    Rizza Dela TorreRizza Dela TorreNăm trước
  • Not before twirking. Maybe in Seacoast NH.

    Damon GrahamDamon GrahamNăm trước
  • Hey now, lots of women and girls play D&D! I'm one of them too. hehe

    AuroraNinAuroraNinNăm trước
  • =\ this makes me jealous tbh. Toxic cause I’ve never experienced any of this.

    LoritorincoLoritorincoNăm trước
  • This video made me cry.! Yes D&D does all this and more. In 93-94 I was hired by a homeschool group to "teach" D&D to kids. All the above of Ethan's points, plus a skyrocket in math and reading skills. By week two the boys were talking about bell curves and probabilities. And they had to read (and did - quickly devouring the rule books) Best of all, one pair of brothers about, 12 and 9, where the older brother was being a bit of a bully, turned around and became a protector for his younger sibling.

    Lion GladdenLion GladdenNăm trước
  • I like that he has a big dice the whole time.

    JellyDragonJellyDragonNăm trước
  • Wow! Great video! I never expected this even from Tedx. And it is exactly the metaphor that keeps me going the most! Thank you.

    SapienSapienNăm trước
  • I want that D20

    Blake MTGBlake MTGNăm trước
  • I maintain for always that D&D is sooooo good for perople. It teaches confidence, public speaking, agency, problem solving, networking, etc. I only wish I'd found it sooner. These "games" are powerful. They are wonderful.

    Dave AwesomesauceDave AwesomesauceNăm trước
    • My state of mind improves whenever I brainstorm SOMETHING...ANYTHING for my potential campaign.

      RagitsuRagitsuNăm trước
  • this guy fucks

    Oberg FamilyOberg FamilyNăm trước
  • I have played D&D before but I was too slow to come up with anything for my character to do because it was my first time and I didn’t have any clue as to what my character could do. My party didn’t explain everything too well. But they did their best and I trying to do better as time went on. My party was already overpowered and my character was not that powerful and not to mention that I had no experience in this kind of situation unlike everyone else. It made it very difficult for me to play the game and I ultimately ended up dying because my friend had requested to die spectacularly. I just so happened to get terrible rolls and then my friends tried to help only to kill me first then to get himself killed. It made me lose more confidence then and I didn’t get a chance to play again. However I really want to play it again because no matter how it made me feel then, I enjoyed the experience and really felt like I actually gained experience.

    Ashla NightShadeAshla NightShadeNăm trước
  • A measly fireball? Pshh...! I'd rather turn stone to mud and make the ruined castle collapse on top of the troll. There, problem solved :D

    Claude-Alexandre TrudeauClaude-Alexandre TrudeauNăm trước
  • Absolutely true. Even though, I would´ve used a different structure to develop the presentation. That way, the approach can be more as a problem-solving-alternative guide, and not as an excuse to play. Don´t get me wrong, I love playing and tottaly agree with him, but I know that other people, not so familiar with D&D, might still be a little tough to get into the game.

    Juan Pablo SequeiraJuan Pablo SequeiraNăm trước
  • I want that dice in his hand.

    Master of Dungeons TimMaster of Dungeons TimNăm trước
  • But trolls dont have axes

    Kingturboturtle DNOCKingturboturtle DNOCNăm trước
  • He forgot to mention the epic D&D snacks

    Introsomnilad !Introsomnilad !Năm trước
  • Okay nerd! *says the DM*

    Ray SummersRay SummersNăm trước
  • It can also teach a bit of racism. Fighting a human empire is one thing, but killing Goblins because Goblins do bad while Humans don't? Having sapient 'monsters' is very controversial for me when I play because I feel there should be more 'bad guys' than 'bad creatures' if that makes sense.

    Velvet DawnVelvet DawnNăm trước
  • I've wanted to play D&D for a long time now. How do I get started. I have no equipment (stuff for the game, i.e character sheets), and want to get this stuff for cheap. Also, how do I find a good group to play with and make time with them to play?

    William MilesWilliam MilesNăm trước
    • William Miles you barely need any of the equipment that many professionals use. I’ve found that starting out all you really need is a handbook (found in most bookstores or online) and a cheap set of dice. Most other things can be homemade or bought online if you want. As for a group, you can ask some friends. I also know that at least where I live there’s a cafe that lets complete strangers play together- I’ve met some good friends there who I’ve continued to play with. As for making time, I just tend to set aside any amount of time- from 45 minutes to 5 hours- that works for everyone and we do our best to keep it weekly. If someone can’t show up or needs to cancel suddenly, we improvise.

      IdollizeIdollizeNăm trước
  • nobody: will from stranger things:

    yourlocaldairyqueenyourlocaldairyqueenNăm trước
  • I just started playing D&D a month ago, I'm DMing for a party of 2 girls and 3 guys and it's been so much fun, they've already started getting attached to the characters I've created and it's helped all of our mental states quite a lot. They've started really getting into character and I cannot say that I ever thought this was possible. A year ago I didnt even know what D&D was, and then a friend said "hey, would you be interested in this?" And now I dont think I'll ever quit it

    Breanna WilsonBreanna WilsonNăm trước
  • It's funny. I always enjoyed solitude, and eventually I got so recluded I basically forgot how to express myself properly. Dnd improv quickly fixed that once a group invited me. The pain when you don't find words to tell simple thoughts is immense, so thank you, DMs out there. You heal people. There's no way to measure happiness when one hears the words "how do you wanna do this?".

    snake698snake698Năm trước
  • Man, it would be the best to have Robin Williams DM a game.... it would be a dream come true.... no wonder his voice game was on point. RIP. ❤️ forever missed but never forgotten. ❤️

    crazy4cheddarcrazy4cheddarNăm trước
  • My first DnD I was a swashbuckling half elf wizard and I fought a calzoni golem using kitchen knives.

    Charm Mae OniñezaCharm Mae OniñezaNăm trước
  • I play a Dragonborn (Half-Dragon) monk who grew up as a pirate

    Someone404Someone404Năm trước
  • 17:42 ...That constitution saving roll though.

    SuperDuperKyleSuperDuperKyleNăm trước
  • what a cutie

    Sizzle ZohanSizzle ZohanNăm trước
  • One of my favorite things about D&D is that it brings people together. I have met young and old nerds that can bond over the game despite the differences in edition.

    Leah HLeah HNăm trước
  • :)

    liamhtmlliamhtmlNăm trước
  • Yaknooowww... I never believed the whole "Playing in the basement thing". Then I started playing dnd, and immediately got it.

    Valdemar SmithValdemar SmithNăm trước
  • Just fireball. Edit: terrible mispelling, and also the mension of splitting the party. We have a party of 12, so we usually split it 6 and 6, with two dms...

    Alexa_the _AIAlexa_the _AINăm trước
  • We call our dm "dungeon mother" she is the mom friend

    VerdaVerdaNăm trước
  • Omg I love that die where can I get a giant 20 faces die? Also... Aren't there known women who play dnd? I like it and will like it more when younger.. But didn't know anybody

    hipolandhipolandNăm trước
  • 5:59 Is this guy predicting the future and talking about Stranger Things? "strange things" "as if my world had been turned upside down," and also talking about D&D

    Bife AceboladoBife AceboladoNăm trước
  • - we've settle for being passive consumers of prepackaged narratives - that's a great observation and a sad truth. They don't want people with imagination, they want consumers. Like the great Terence Mckenna once said - culture is not your friend! -

    BiorageBiorageNăm trước
  • It takes a great & intuitive understanding of physics to throw a football well.

    Swaying HemlockSwaying HemlockNăm trước
  • 0:10 those are all very hurtful stereotypes, good sir.

    Trader Of GoodsTrader Of GoodsNăm trước
  • I will never forget one of the first things I did as my male sorcerer Goliath with a meaninglessly long name who was dubbed Lucy which was burning an entire forest to the ground by complete accident

    TheRealTrey 77TheRealTrey 77Năm trước
  • Mountain Dew and Doritos during a gaming session. Some things never change boys!

    ChuggaasNo1FanChuggaasNo1FanNăm trước
  • I wonder if there is a modern or futuristic version of D&D

    Layfon AlLayfon AlNăm trước
    • I’m running a campaign like that!

      ElkfeathersElkfeathersNăm trước
  • omg to play dnd with robin williams that would have been amazimg

    davion fireheartdavion fireheartNăm trước
  • I feel like collaboration and teamwork is a lie because I genocided my 11 player team by sneakily sacrificing them to Cthulu ( I was a warlock), by the end I gained so much XP and sacrifice reward i obliterated everything

    Dean MORIADean MORIANăm trước
  • Once I was playing with my friends and my character had been cut at the wrist by a figure made of smoke leaving a scar with smoke pouring out of it. And because of an experience before instead of going to a mage like the group told me, I cut my hand off and it worked. But like he said it can go another way, like how my friends mechanical behemoth he made had the same thing happen but he dispelled it.

    Cade Is weirdCade Is weirdNăm trước
  • For the intro scenario I would try to befriend / release the troll.

    Alexander The InsaneAlexander The InsaneNăm trước
  • "Nonprofits & Activism" it warms my heart

    Lava GuavaLava GuavaNăm trước
  • Thanks this gave me a nice proficiency bonus but seriously I love on of my favorite medias is getting some representation

    Meat pies in clown hellMeat pies in clown hellNăm trước
  • this is beautiful

    Rik ThunderRik ThunderNăm trước
  • “who do you wanna be” I’m just playing farmer Joe, the average man.

    born_childborn_childNăm trước
    • I once wrote and GM'd a campaign with players' usual characters of intrigue -- and one friend playing a farmer named Joe. When I wrote a rhyming prophecy naming all the chars, I didn't name Joe; I named his cow. $E^ D

      ParodyKnaveBobParodyKnaveBobNăm trước
  • When I was a kid, I never really had friends. I was alone throughout my school age years, hiding in the library after eating my lunch rather then going out on the playground. Kids picked and bullied me mercilessly up until the day I graduated. I have asperger's syndrome, I never really learned how to interact with people my own age. When I turned 19, I discovered tabletop rpgs through some investigation and listening to podcasts and stories. I went to a gaming store and, after buying the wrong books, I got the ones for 3.5. My first games were rocky and they were with people I learned didn't exactly think of me in the best possible light. But I stuck with it and when I moved to a new state, away from home, I found my people. I've been gaming with my group for years now and I am 28. If I didn't have D&D, I'd be a miserable closet shut in who'd be afraid to say anything to anyone. D&D and TTRPGs saved my life. I hope to the Gods that they continue to help anyone and everyone grow as people! Everyone needs an outlet to explore parts of themselves they can't normally express. In the realm of Fantasy, all things are possible!

    SCP 049SCP 049Năm trước
  • This man has to be a bard with max charisma bonuses

    PotatoPotatoNăm trước
  • Ok, time to buy Elder Scrolls online

    Sergeant DanelartonSergeant DanelartonNăm trước
  • That chick laughed a little too hard at "twerking" _seems suspicious_

    raymondc9513raymondc9513Năm trước
  • "How do you wanna do this?" - Matt Mercer

    Lil BusterLil BusterNăm trước
    • How do I wanna do this? -Matthew Mercer

      Veeti HämäläinenVeeti Hämäläinen4 tháng trước
  • "You can't go alone" Insert Rogue +17 stealth here.

    Thomas BraybrookeThomas BraybrookeNăm trước
  • I wanna learn how to play it now

    StrawberryJPEGStrawberryJPEGNăm trước