Speaking of flashbacks, Ed Brayton’s piece (Pat Robertson: Dungeons & Dragons is Demonic) at FreeThoughtBlogs’ Dispatches from the Culture Wars threw me head-first into the deep-end of painfully hysterical childhood memories:
It must have been an 80s flashback day on the 700 Club when Pat Robertson told a viewer that it was wrong to play games involving magic because it’s part of the occult. Oh, and Dungeons and Dragons has literally destroyed people’s lives.
Rewind to the early 80s…
The first seven years of my life were spent in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, not from from a Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) where my parents attended. Having been born in 1978, this lands me within the timeframe of the Christian brouhaha over games like Dungeons & Dragons–and don’t forget that D&D had a cartoon series! It was also the era of cartoons like He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats and the Smurfs. I watches these programs religiously, as did most any other kid not living under a rock; and, as could reasonably be expected, I loved getting toy figures of characters from these programs–what kid didn’t want Battle Cat and Ram Man?
Alas, this childhood happiness was short-lived.
One day, I returned home from school only to be informed that we were having a family meeting. Apparently, some charismaniac had convinced my parents that the cartoons I was watching were demonic, working as conduits for ghosts and gobblins hell-bent on my demise–some even went so far as to insist that Mumm-Ra and Gargamel were reciting actual satanic incantations! So, I was told, there was no other choice than to stop watching these diabolical cartoons and to–brace yourself–give away all my toys to classmates! (This was years before mass toy and CD/DVD burning became en vogue.) I mean, heck, what was more reasonable than Christian parents demanding their Christian son give demonic toys with hellish powers to little kids entirely unaware of the great conspiracy?
To state the obvious, I was devastated! So I did what any vengeful 1st grade boy would do: I gave my demonic toys to the kid who stole my kindergarten girlfriend from me! Poor kid, he had no idea what kind of voodoo just entered his life!
Throughout my life, I’ve often wondered what happened to that little guy. If Robertson & Co. have been right all these years, there’s a change my gift landed him in funny man Mike Warnke’s non-existent satanic cult. The world may never know…