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How 'Dungeons & Dragons' Suddenly Became Cool

adventure zone book
Courtesy of The Adventure Zone
Dungeons & Dragons is seeing a resurgence, as a board game, online and in podcasts.

The tabletop role-playing-game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) may have gone through some growing pains during the "satanic panic" of the 1980s, but it is seeing a pop culture resurgence, with cameos in hit series like Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things. So what exactly is this game and why has it remained a staple of tabletop game players for more than 40 years?

Modern fans of the game will tell you the stereotype of a D&D player as typically portrayed in the media is far from reality. A massive, dedicated fan base has grown among women and the LGBTQ community who are finding it to be a safe, inclusive way to tell stories and build community. Along with this growth, a local podcaster has found himself turning a one-off session of the game with his family into a popular podcast, propelling them to become darlings of the gaming community with a rabid following that led to a New York Times best-selling graphic novel series.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the enduring appeal of Dungeons & Dragons are co-host and player of The Adventure Zone podcast and co-author of the graphic novel The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited!, Travis McElroy (@TheZoneCast); and Executive Director of the non-profit Super Heroines Etc., Carolyn Noe (@superheroineetc).

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.