A moral panic around the game Dungeons and Dragons that occasionally popped up in the press during the ’80s and early-90s. It struck a deep nerve with LIL INTERNET, who remembers being a child when a “Dungeons and Dragons” murder occured in Virginia Beach, which bordered his home town. Some teenagers murdered some kids they were babysitting and told the cops they thought the kids were “kobolds.” This particular case doesn’t even have a mention in the D&D panic’s Wiki article, but LIL INTERNET continues to be haunted by the idea of Role Playing Games bleeding over into real life with disastrous consequences, especially since this exact phenomenon is what passes for politics these days.
LIL INTERNET: I made a connection, like the dungeons and dragons craze of the 1980s. I remember these murders in Virginia Beach, actually, which is near where I grew up, where these two [teenagers] killed a young boy… There was all this [press] discussion about kids and teenagers [who] play Dungeons and Dragons, and they can't break out of their character, and they end up committing crimes and murders because the roleplaying game becomes real to them. There was this whole panic. The craziest thing, though, is that Q is actually that.
Carly Busta: Right, they can’t break out of their narrative.
LI: Q is Dungeons and Dragons. It really is what the panic was talking about. Yeah, it's a live action role playing game that people cannot break out of. They actually are committing crimes because they can't break out of it.