I recently saw that WotC must have licensed the D&D trademark to Kerching Casinos for their "Dungeons & Dragons: Crystal Caverns" online gambling game. I haven't played it and don't really care to (and couldn't even if I wanted to here in the U.S.). But the very existence of this game put some things in perspective for me.
I grew up back when the when certain Christian groups were up in arms about D&D, accusing it of being a way to convert kids to Satanism, cause them to commit suicide, lose their minds, you name it. I know it sounds ridiculous now, but there really was a lot of media stir about it at the time. Fortunately that all blew over, and as everyone reading this probably knows, D&D became just a bit tamer in the aftermath. Numerous studies have been done on RPGs since, and now it's more common to read about the potential psychological benefits of them than any real or imagined negative effects.
I suppose there are a few reasons why mixing D&D's image and online gambling shouldn't cause an uproar these days - it's only available via the web and you'd need a credit card, it's not in the U.S., and there are (presumably) far less D&D players now than there were in its hey day.
But the thing that stands out for me about this development is how the game has been around so long that the earlier edition players are now definitely old enough to gamble. Since online gambling and D&D really have very little to do with one another, it comes down to a marketing gimmick - and in this case it would seem to be evidence of the nostalgia for these games that exists, one that's being cynically exploited in this case. Consider UK1: Beyond the Crystal Cave (for 1st edition AD&D), the name of the gambling game here ("Crystal Caverns"), and the fact Kerching Casinos is UK based, and there's little doubt what demographic is being most marketed to here. I see WotC's licensing for this in the same light.
Preparing to Descend
3 hours ago