Written by Cara Eaton
You may have heard the rumors, or known a friend of a friend who’s in the course, but yes there is currently a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) class running at Brock University.
Now you may jump to conclusions - why is there a course on D&D? What could be learned from a semester long D&D campaign? As a Communications student I am quick to defend the class, not only as a study in fandom and audiences, but also one of fantasy and creative narratives.
Although valuable and applicable to my degree I feel I’ve also gained something unexpected from the course. I feel like I’ve begun to challenge my assumptions about fantasy and reality. Which as a graduating student is something I probably should have a handle on by now—allow me to explain further.
Think of the many roles we play every day – whether it’s as a student, TA, community member or any other category you place yourself in – how many are real and how many are fantasy? Some would say we just role-play in the various aspects of our lives.
For example: I am Canadian, and I study at Brock University. However how much are nationalities and student stereotypes real, and how much are they fantasy roles we’ve been taught to play? What would have happened if my parents raised me to be a vengeful orc blacksmith, who was yet to be convinced that orcs could NOT exist?
For 17 years I’ve been playing the role of student and now reflecting on my up and coming alumni status I wonder what role I’ll play next? So many graduates feel like they must get a job, gain experience in their work field, or apply for another degree. This D&D class has reminded me that in my game, I can play any role I want.
Take the idea of graduating and go on an adventure—whether its in another country, city, or in a basement with your Blue Box D&D set. I challenge students to look at this summer as an opportunity to try new roles and to consider that the differences between fantasy and reality are not so far apart.
Perhaps you too may find you’ve got a lot more fantasy in your life and that you’re ready for more in the times to come. Adventure awaits!