Monday, 19 April 2010

Morality & Responsibility

Even though I’m no moralizer - I have commented in the past about the moral “grey area” of WizBro’s marketing. How it’s an example of corporate greed, and that I believe it’s going to be damaging to the hobby in the long run.

I’ve had my dissenters, (you know who you are Mister B) and there have been yells and whines about how they are a business and need to make money.

Whilst that is true, I don’t think it’s right dumbing it all down to the level it has been (the rumour is character sheets are going next, to be replaced by cards – another product in the line no doubt) whilst exploiting it to the level they have.

D&D T-Shirts have been around for years, worn in “geek pride” by many a gamer – but a line of Soft Drinks, even a ‘limited edition’ one is taking the p**s IMHO.

A lot of parents have been running 4e with their kids, and whilst I think it’s a good thing – the ages concern me. Getting very young kids (even in one instance a pre-schooler) taught to play D&D – feels a little more like indoctrination than a family activity. As at very young ages they hear the word “game” and are up for anything, without the ability to make a decision about wanting or not wanting to play it on their own.

D&D has been aimed at kids before – that’s a fact I know.

Sure there have been colouring books in the past - and the Classic Animated Series (which I still adore). But if it IS to be marketed at kids, it should be done in a more appropriate and responsible way – Making a "kiddy friendly" product.

The Harvesters RPG from Troll Lord Games is a brilliant example of a game designed to be played by kids and their parents.

But, if such marketing exists – it should be tempered with a little morality and responsibility. Something WizBro seems to be lacking.

Still not convinced – then scoot over to the Virgin Casino and check out “Crystal Caverns” – a Dungeons and Dragons slot machine game (I kid you not).

“Adventure & fortune awaits in Dungeons & Dragons: Crystal Caverns. Now with Tumbling Reels® plus free spins & a scatter feature.”


Of course, you can play for free – but to allow such an obvious abuse of the D&D brand and linking it to gambling - is despicable behaviour at best.

Well done WizBro – you really suck now!


  1. I must admit that whilst I do play D&D with my (now seven year old) son, it was at his instigation and I do not water things down - if he's daft enough not to run from ghouls at 1st level, well...draw your own picture.

    But I am concerned about morality bleed as the 'brand' leaches out into all aspects of life. I'm searching for a simple AD&D t-shirt (and thanks to Biopunk I think I've found one) that I can use to instigate conversations on the game - but online casinos? Hmmm...It was a bit like the TARGA Porn Stars controversy.

    I don't gamble online (hell, I don't gamble full stop) and I've never used porn and never will but I respect the decisions of others to do so or not. However, if the linkage between D&D and these aspects of adult activity give the anti-D&D brigade (and they're still out there) another stick to beat us with, then it becomes rather less of an indvidual responsibility issue.

  2. You're entirely correct, and as I stated its damaging to the Hobby - what form that damage takes is anyones guess untill it happens. But the potential for harm is present in what WizBro are doing.