D&D Players Fail Israeli Influence Check


According to Ynetnews, the Israel Defense Forces believe incoming recruits and soldiers who play Dungeons and Dragons are unfit for elite units. Eighteen-year-olds who tell recruiters they play the popular fantasy game are automatically given low security clearance because "They're detached from reality and susceptible to influence."

According to the article, thousands of teens in Israel play Dungeons & Dragons, which has increased in popularity due to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. However the Israel Defense Force (IDF) does not approve, and prevents D&D players from being considered for sensitive army positions by labeling them with low security clearance.
"We have discovered that some of them are simply detached from reality," a security source told Ynetnews.

Perhaps this calls for a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. One wonders how the army finds out. Recruits falling on 4-sided dice during basic training? DM Guide as contraband in the footlocker? Recruits asking about longswords?

The full text of the article can be found here.

Yeah, well, I know some people who are "simply detatched from reality" who don't play D&D. Heck, I see some of them driving on the interstate!

This is just another stab at stereotyping fantasy game players and further attempting to stigmatize the genre.

I wonder if the sentiment would change if Hasbro donated some money to the IDF?

Hear, hear. I can think of some world leaders who are apparently "detached from reality."

Role-playing is a stigma. I've come to accept that. As with all stereotypes, there's some truth to What People Say About Gamers. But there's also a lot of nonsense.

In my experience, gamers provide a more literate cross-section of the population. Back when I was a verbal tutor for the SAT, I noticed that gamers have a higher vocabulary, on average, than non-gamers.

I'm not saying NO DUDE GAMERS ARE WAY SMARTER THAN NON-GAMERS, as sometimes gets said. But the stereotype cuts both ways.

And I thought the Yu-Gi-Oh dice suicide thing was rediculous. This is just buggy.

Distantly yours,

hey...at last some D&D bashing i can say something about!
(Living in israel means i missed all the 80's fun of D&D being accused of causing satan worship and homocide).

A few notes:
First, this story sounds a bit fishy. I could find nowhere this "army official" is identified or his position mentioned. in adition, I've been in the army (see last section) as have all of my friends, and I've never found proof of this. moreover, some people I've talked with who are more "in the know" than me, also have no info on this.

Second , the original Hebrew piece is all about RD&D (a.k.a LARP) and not any old RPG. (Not that makes the aforementioned declaration any less ridiculous).

Last, my own story:
When I was first interviewed by army officials (at age 17) , more than a year before being drafted, i was asked,among other things, about my hobbies. When I mentioned role-playing games (and D&D, as that is still synonimous with RPGs here), the interviewer aske me this: "..and do you think that's real? ". At that moment , I had a flash of insight. If I told this guy "yes", my way was clear to avoiding the army draft.
But, of course, I answered "what, are you kidding me? of course not" and then countinued on to being drafted at 18 and spending three wonderful, happy, fun and blissful years at the IDF.

What's my point?
none, really.

Interesting stuff, zipdrive. Thanks for your insight.

It's allways a dead giveaway when the new recruits are asking what the AC bonus is on their kevlar.


"You can't get off if you don't get on."
-Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man 2


i'm sorry, but new recruits to the IDF don't get kevlars :)

maybe they ask for the AC of a 5000 times used-abused-washed-rewashed set of uniform has...it's certainly got a Hardness rating...

"I'm sorry, you can't send me to do that until you tell me what the CR is. I mean, it wouldn't be very balanced of you to involve me in an encounter that's beyond my level, would it?"

You got me. I snorted Diet Dr. Pepper all over my monitor.

just got back today from a week-long military exercise... seems we generally had to contend with a heat wave and some random encounters...

Just wondered, have the sales of d&d suddenly surged in Israel as thousand of new recruits are suddenly attempting to 'detach from reality'.
oh and makes you wonder what day the Israeli parliment plays its regular D&D session ;)

Sadly, considering that as we speak, Hizballa rockets are falling in various settlements in northern Israel, even recruits who'd want to "detach" suddenly need to consider how that stacks with protecting their loved ones.

Sadly it's a situation which has lasted since the conflict of '56 (and before)and at times like these seems further away from any form of sensible resolution than ever.
In a world with apparently no end to delusional madmen - and outisde interferences from other powers - then unfortunately theres unlikely to be any lasting end for both the Israeli peoples and the large - but almost certainly reducing daily - amount of free-thinking arab peoples who haven't yet fallen under the influence of a fanatical, but all too vocal minority.

Hope your kith and kin negotiate these troubled times safely.

And despite the futility of wishing such things, i truly hope that those innocents on both sides do not become yet more casulties in this senseless cycle of death and destruction.