Ethan Gilsdorf's story about rediscovering role-playing adventure games in middle age led to many stories from readers who also found gaming later in life. Our favorite D&D anecdote came from StarintheWind:
D&D through the eyes of my kids
Thanks for a well written article. D&D has had a huge impact on pop culture and deserves to be recognized.
One thing I would like to share is how much fun it is for the children of an middle aged ex D&Der to introduce the game to his kids.
I played D&D in high school from 79-83. I too gave up the game at college and forgot about it. A few years ago, my parents were moving and they found my old books. I rescued the books from the donation bin and introduced the game to my COD and Halo playing, video addicted boys (about 7 and 8 at the time).
They really enjoyed it. In fact, they enjoyed it too much. They would become tense on their saving throw rolls and attacks. Rule no.1 became: do not hurl the dice across the room in anger! I tried to weave in lessons like be kind to strangers with noble quests but the game usually devolved into orc killing and treasure grabbing. Their first quest was off a campaign I downloaded for free as you described (very funny and inventive: a calzone monster from a wizard who went nuts in a kitchen).
We haven't played recently b/c work has been so busy and it takes time to develop a quest. But having kids use their imagination, instead of being spoon fed xbox/movie action, is good for them. They see the relation because choices and outcome. And, yes, as you said, they would read the books like the Monster Manual and dream of great glory.
Keep writing and promoting D&D!
your pal in adventure
To read the rest of the letters, click here.