Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
11,496
Reaction score
21,225
I came across this video of a 60 Minutes 'report' on D&D in 1985 and thought I'd share it. It shows just how mainstream the Satanic Panic ideas were in the 80s (I recall hysterical reports about Satanic covens on Oprah!).

Patricia Pulling may seem a unpleasant woman but I read about the suicide of her son in Dangerous Games and felt bad for her as a women incapable of dealing with the death of her child.

And keep watching after the D&D segment, tacked on is a later piece by 60 Minutes about the psychology professor talking against D&D who lost his license for abusing his patients. Only in the 80s!


And contrast that with this great mini-documentary from the NYT on D&D's history, the Satanic Panic and its revived popularity:


BTW the 60 Minutes piece on YT comes from a Christian ministry, ironically we have to thank the Satanic Panic for documenting the boom years of D&D!
 
Last edited:

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
25,874
Reaction score
68,346
I've seen this a few times. I've always been fascinated by the Satanic panic. My father became a born again Christian in my early teens, part of his mid-life crisis/transition into raging asshole shunned by everyone in the family. He accused me of satanism a few times. Being raised Atheist before that point I kinda just laughed at him. But I made sure to keep my gamebooks out of his sight so he didnt get any ideas.

If I ever did an OSR game I would want to completely embrace all the suspected Satanism and make it into this evil occult tome bedecked with pictures of demons.
 

Mankcam

Coiner of Thread-Falls, & Inadvert Founder of Swo'
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
3,215
Reaction score
7,809
Although we seemed free to read Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, I remember D&D was actually banned at our school in 1985...so by 1986 we were playing RuneQuest, MERP, and Rolemaster in the school library instead!
heh heh. It took them a while to cotton on that there was a wider range of rpgs out there beyond D&D.

I remember community clubs like Church Youth Groups getting very intolerant to what they perceived as a potentially demonic influence amongst the kids. Even the more neutral community organisations like Boy Scouts advised parents to exercise caution with D&D until more information on the phenomena was available.

D&D seemed to be linked with everything from teen suicide in the USA through to satanic cattle mutilations in Australia. It was bizarre as D&D had been out for almost a decade, but that 1983 to 1986 era was fever pitch gospel media hysteria until it ran its course. Strangely, once it started dying down I remember that there was an increased proliferation of non-D&D rpgs on the market, so it shows that any publicity is good publicity for an industry.

I think our school ban was lifted by 1988, but by that time we didnt want to play in our lunch break anyway (thats what Saturday sessions were for!)

I remember my mother was initially concerned with the whole rpg notion, but once my father took a look at my rpg books he thought it was great for my imagination and creativity, and with that I was allowed to continue. I think he saw the link between fantasy rpgs and Tolkien, and thought that this could only be a good thing. Mind you he collected Ian Fleming, James Michener, and Robert Howard's paperbacks, so he didn't mind me following him down the path of adventure fandom (although he still preferred his dodgy Westerns!)

I think the whole D&D Satanic Panic phase was replaced by the Grim Reaper AIDS Hysteria era, so there was worse things teens could get up to than rolling funny dice.

Ahh the 80s...!
 
Last edited:

Doc Sammy

Gaymer and Weeb
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
2,099
If I ever did an OSR game I would want to completely embrace all the suspected Satanism and make it into this evil occult tome bedecked with pictures of demons.

If you did that, I would definitely buy that game in a heartbeat!

I'm surprised the OSR hasn't done anything with the Satanic Panic mass hysteria that hit D&D back in the 80's. Could be a good source for parody or satire.

As horrible as the Satanic Panic was, it did give D&D unprecedented levels of free publicity and probably did a lot to drive up the sales of D&D in the 1980's.
 

Dumarest

Vaquero de Alta California
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
15,048
Reaction score
30,720
I was lucky. My parents weren't idiots and saw that RPGs got kids reading, doing math, and exercising their imaginations, all voluntarily. It helped that they were able to separate reality from fantasy as well.
 

Doc Sammy

Gaymer and Weeb
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
2,099
I was lucky to avoid the Satanic Panic by being born in 1993.

My parents introduced me to D&D, actually!
 

zunbazu

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
47
I sampled a bit from a Canadian story on D&D from the 80s to use in an electronic music track. The track wasn't great but it was a fun little diversion to watch these old clips and see the crazy stuff they were saying about RPGs back then.
 

Mankcam

Coiner of Thread-Falls, & Inadvert Founder of Swo'
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
3,215
Reaction score
7,809
It wasnt that long ago that Harry Potter books generated similar concerns regarding satanic/sorcerous influences, although on a much smaller scale. This was overwhelmingly offset by the fact that kids were actually reading again, and the naysaying died down pretty quickly.
 

Doc Sammy

Gaymer and Weeb
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
2,099
It wasnt that long ago that Harry Potter books generated similar concerns regarding satanic/sorcerous influences, although on a much smaller scale. This was overwhelmingly offset by the fact that kids were actually reading again, and the naysaying died down pretty quickly.

I definitely remember that as a kid.

But yeah, I'd love to see a good OSR game that really plays up the whole Satanic Panic occult angle (especially if played up for laughs). It'd be the kind of game that would give William Schnoebelen a stroke and be generally black metal as fuck.

If I did not have all these ideas for other projects and a bad case of Gamer ADHD, I would make it myself.
 

Endless Flight

Owns A Few Brain Cells
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
10,517
Reaction score
26,064
The idea that gaming is a portal to eeeeeevil is ridiculous on so many levels. Those people should have been ashamed of themselves. You can be certain they were throwing stones from glass houses.
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
11,496
Reaction score
21,225
I've seen this a few times. I've always been fascinated by the Satanic panic. My father became a born again Christian in my early teens, part of his mid-life crisis/transition into raging asshole shunned by everyone in the family. He accused me of satanism a few times. Being raised Atheist before that point I kinda just laughed at him. But I made sure to keep my gamebooks out of his sight so he didnt get any ideas.

If I ever did an OSR game I would want to completely embrace all the suspected Satanism and make it into this evil occult tome bedecked with pictures of demons.

I too have long been fascinated by the Satanic Panic, having grown up during its peak and read several books on it (and own a copy of Michelle Remembers), in fact this is what I'm reading right now.

download.png

Great cover and some terrific period photos and emphera inside but it is a bit of a light primer, I think I've read too many serious journalistic and historical books on the subject to find this very insightful.

But I love the idea of a OSR clone emphazising the Satanic Panic angle, don't let Venger Satanis steal that idea!

The EPT Book of Ebon Bindings, which is full of demons, symbols and demonology would be a good source of inspiration for that:

91XHk5+MdFL.jpg
 
Last edited:
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top