reviewed: The Adventure Zone
D&D as a vehicle for improvisational storytelling.
Any well played D&D game produces nicely developed characters that grow roots, relationships, and a story line that’s built just ever so slightly out of the control of its participants. Take out some of the more cumbersome game mechanics, add the talent and cleverness of the McElroy family to this and boy howdy, I’m having more fun than I thought was possible listening to people roll dice. It’s not the first time it’s been done—we had an improv comedy troop that where I live that rolled a giant (little more than a foot in diameter) D20 to make some decisions or reveal outcomes about the scenes they were playing out. And another thing: I expected (assumed) I’d be listening to cis-het white nerds creating a legion of characters that mirrored them, which would have been just ok, if a bit predictable—that’s their experience in the world. But no. Any contrived world has possibility and opportunity for representation... and these men have chosen to tell a story where diversity isn’t represented in shallow avatars—the storyline is affected by those different perspectives. We’ve got strong people represented in a spectrum of genders. They don’t pop an offensive falsetto voice for female characters. AND if you’re thinking that it’s just performative allyship (which, eff off, this is literal entertainment and performance so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) they do regular fundraising for activist groups that make positive impacts for all sorts of communities. I love this podcast. I listen to “my programs” and don’t really read much extra around and about when it comes to the podcasts I like, but I heard recently that there’s some weird backlash at Travis for his DMing of Graduation. The internet can’t (shouldn’t be able to) cancel your sweet and creative heart. Keep making this. It’s a happy place for me.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts