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

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  • Published on May 21, 2016

  • 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 http://ted.com/tedx
  • Why Dungeons & Dragons is Good for You (In Real Life) | Ethan Gilsdorf | TEDxPiscataquaRiver etiketleri


  • I'm 50 years old. My children are grown, and they play D&D with me on a semi weekly basis, and have been since they were around 10. We bonded slaying monsters and telling fantasy stories. I'll probably play with my grand children. I've been married 28 years, have my own business, and I will play until I can't hold the dice anymore! Game on!

  • Another person that could be added to the list of people who have played D&D is entrepreneur/author Timothy Ferris. -Ryan

  • "...you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner. Roll initiative"

  • in my first game, in my first action, I rolled a 1 on Dex and broke my leg.

  • I made a mediator character who wasn't a cleric, but well educated in

  • You loot the YouTube recommendations feed... You discover the greatest Ted Talk known to man.

  • IRL I'm a tiny, 5'1", full-time nurse, and full-time student. However, in D&D I'm a big scary barbarian woman wielding a broad sword. I enjoy playing a dumb and impulsive/reckless character because I can never act that way as a real life healer. Every day when working in the ICU or studying for classes I critically think to solve problems. As a barbarian I get to turn all of that off, "rage", and hit things harder than any other character on the board can. It's empowering, really.

  • Did anyone else think a solution for the level 1 character trying to get past the troll is to bribe it with pancakes?

  • im 39, of hispanic and black heritage, im married and have a child. i grew up in a extremely rough neighborhood where problems where a thing of life. Without AD&D, i can safely say i would not have made it where im at today. It helped me develop problem solving and math skills that to this day i still use. Critical thinking, nuance, morality, ethics, all of those things. In one shot. i learned somethings more in depth than in 4 years of highschool and 2 years of college.

  • I think that the RPG game system / framework could be used as a great educational tool in schools to teach storytelling and characterisation..

  • I thought it was hilarious that he said "Never spilt the party."

  • Rolling for fortitude check when he almost cried remembering his mom ... I just made it, lol.

  • My favorite D&D story is this:

  • His name is literally Gilsdorf. Of COURSE he plays DnD

  • "Your torches, your grappling hook, your backpack..." Your 50 feet of rope! Seriously. Who leaves home without 50 feet of rope?!

  • kudos for rolling with the tech glitch, kind of proves the whole adaptability claim.

  • I want to play...

  • Mountain Dew...

  • Absolutely agree that stories and narrative create connection. Great talk around role playing.

  • "3 Charisma... mmm, not so good" -- lol