Today, Dungeons & Dragons was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum for Play.
First published in 1974, Dungeons & Dragons has inspired many millions of gamers to create stories and adventures and has brought people together from all backgrounds to share those experiences. We are extremely proud D&D has been recognized by the Strong Museum, and we owe what the game is today to you, our fans. As stewards of D&D, we will continue to make great entertainment to inspire your creativity.
Nathan Stewart, Senior Director of D&D at Wizards of the Coast, was on hand in Rochester, NY to witness the induction ceremony and speak on behalf of Dungeons & Dragons. D&D means so much to so many people, but it is especially important to young people as they learn and grow. Some of the folks here at Wizards of the Coast also took some time to express how D&D helped improve their lives and the lives of those around them:
D&D has become a rite of passage for children of a creative temperament. It’s incredible to think that what started as the marriage of tabletop wargames and pulp fantasy novels has become the iconic storytelling pastime for multiple generations.
Perhaps the greatest innovation of Dungeons & Dragons is that it provides a way to play pretend with rules. I think when older kids and adults discover the game, they tap into a style of play from early childhood that they’ve forgotten. The game unleashes the individual imagination of each player while, at the same time, it draws them together to tell a story. You can discover a lot about yourself and each other in a very short time and in a fun way. Friendships that last a lifetime frequently form while playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Dungeons & Dragons is not just a game. It’s a legacy. It’s a pop culture phenomenon. It’s a rite of passage for an entire generation. But perhaps its most important influences are with the positive impact it has made on children and adults in the form of enhanced social, math, analytical, reading, writing, and creative skills and friendships that have lasted for decades. It is an honor to be part of a team that continues to fuel an inextinguishable spark for the imagination for years to come.
Dungeons & Dragons inspires me to be the person that I dream I can be, and brings me great joy in that I can help other players to also find that same inspiration for themselves.
Dungeons & Dragons brings many different things to different people but at its core, it provides a very open outlet for creative expression. While you’re playing the game, you get to be a kid again, using your imagination to make the impossible, possible. It also allows you to be anyone you want – a paladin bringing justice to an unjust world, a rogue always testing to see what you can get away with next, a wizard unlocking the arcane secrets of the universe…here you can be brave or powerful, explore the boundaries of your imagination, exercise critical thinking skills, and best of all make friends.
I’ve found that Dungeons & Dragons, in addition to being a storytelling platform, functions as a kind of shared language. I’ve experienced this myself growing up on different Army bases—D&D allowed us kids moving around constantly to find common ground—a game to discuss in all its glorious detail, and a ready spot at the table for newcomers.
D&D, at its heart, is more than just a game, it is a storytelling medium.
Storytelling is one of our oldest art forms, it is a shared experience that unites us through language and our imaginations. My own pet theory is that storytelling is somehow encoded in our DNA along with singing, dancing, music and art–all of which are used to tell stories.
The game of D&D is a great way to experience a deep sense of communion and friendship, and satisfy our intrinsic human need to tell stories. It has been my observation that D&D is a stellar nursery for storytellers. That’s why when making D&D products, I am very aware that we are creating a playground to inspire creative thinking, giving players a toolbox for fun and adventure.
Because of this, D&D is not only a great game, it is also a powerful tool for unleashing the imagination.
There is no underestimating the benefits of playing Dungeons & Dragons. As a player, you learn social skills, diplomatic skills, how to behave under stress and how to think both strategically and tactically in situations limited only by the combined imagination of your fellow players and your Dungeon Master.
As a Dungeon Master, the demands on you are magnified. In addition to the skills learned by the player, you must also learn how to build worlds: you learn how societies work, how geography and environment can affect a situation, how to use math in meaningful ways and, most importantly, how to be flexible and agile in your thinking when your ideas meet an audience. In an age where such skills have become essential to success, D&D is a safe training ground for some of the greatest leaders and minds of the 21st century.
Our parent company Hasbro is also proud of the honor and how D&D impacts kids (and adults!) all over the world:
“Dungeons & Dragons embodies Hasbro’s goal of creating the world’s best play and entertainment experiences, and we are extremely proud to see D&D be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame alongside many other brands in our portfolio like Twister, Candy Land, The Game of Life, Mr. Potato Head and the Easy-Bake Oven,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro Brands. “D&D has enabled fans to create their own stories for more than 40 years and we look forward to continuing to inspire imaginations by providing amazing play experiences.”