Slaying The Myth

A conversation with the Dungeons and Dragons Club

Illustrator: Aaron Musickant

Illustrator: Aaron Musickant

Despite receiving more than $1 billion in revenue since its creation in 1974, relatively little is known to outsiders about the popular role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, or “D&D.”

Stereotyped as lazy, anti-social geeks by many, Logan Oglesby, founder and president of D&D club at the University of Minnesota, is anything but. Oglesby is a junior, an honors student studying mechanical engineering, holds two jobs, is the vice president and director of operations at Go First Robotics, and the treasurer of the chess club.

“Is this performance art? A game? Some sort of collaborative storytelling?”

—Oglesby

He discovered D&D in high school, and upon arriving at the University, began playing with some friends in a study room at Middlebrook Hall, where they would go for nine hours at a time. As interest in the group swelled, Oglesby figured it was time to establish a club.

The group draws about 20 regulars each week, but as Oglesby explained, the club has a broad purpose.

“We have had numerous groups come, meet through us, and leave the nest,” Oglesby said. “That’s what it’s about—bringing people together. That’s what we do.”

As far as the game itself goes, each player chooses a role, assumes the personality of that character, and goes on to complete a variety of puzzles, riddles, and challenges within the gameplay grid, each square representing a dungeon. How much time has he spent in a single dungeon? Seven hours.

How you go about classifying the game, according the Oglesby, is up for interpretation.

“Is this performance art? A game? Some sort of collaborative storytelling? That’s the beauty of it,” he said. “It’s so well established, so thorough, that you can make it into whatever is the most fun for you and your party.”

Co-founder Michelle Smeaton shared a similar sentiment.

How much time has he spent in a single dungeon? Seven hours.

“Dungeons and Dragons gives people a chance to be creative, which [College of Science and Engineering] classes don’t really offer,” Smeaton said. “I think you’d be surprised how many people already know something and would be willing to learn more.”

Those who are interested are encouraged to join the club’s weekly meetings, which occur Friday at 7 p.m. in room 303 of Coffman Memorial Union.