D&D;, or Dungeons and Dragons, is a tabletop role playing game that was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. It revolves around fantasy and fantastical races, classes, quests, and missions. Kings, queens, betrayal, romance, comedy, action, combat; there's something in it for everyone, yet it is mostly played among "nerds" or "geeks."
For a fun, successful D&D; campaign, first you must find someone to be the DM, or "dungeon master." Their role is to create the campaign's story, the quest for the rest of the party to engage in. Some campaigns take only a few hours, and some can take years to finish. For example, the campaign I currently am involved in is about the rise of an evil, ancient dragon called Tiamat. My party's goal is to kill Tiamat and save the world. Our dungeon master is creative, patient, and willing to put up with our shenanigans- good qualities to have as a DM.
Now, my favorite part of my current campaign (and D&D; as a whole) is that anyone can be anything. Yes, anything. Humans? Sure. Elves? Heck yeah. Gnomes, dwarves, goblins, dragonborn, and Tieflings? Absolutely. You can pick any race! You can be something totally fictional! You can be something more realistic! The best part is that it's all up to you, the player! And, now that you have your race picked out, you get to choose a class. A class is what your character specializes in. A rogue, for example, is good at stealing and lock-picking, while a monk is good at fighting hand-to-hand, while a wizard is good at magic. You can choose any class with any race and no two characters are the same! Your character doesn't even have to have your personality (though for first-time players, it may be easiest if they do). You can be anyone. Anything. The only limit is your imagination.
So just why should D&D; be more popular? It fosters creativity, teamwork, cooperation, and group-thinking. It allows for a closer bond between friends. As my friend and fellow party member Abbi said, "It's a socially acceptable fantasy escape." Dungeons & Dragons is just that- a fantasy escape. I began playing about six months ago and, at the time, I wasn't in such a good spot mentally. Being able to create a character that was so awesome and badass and just about everything I want to be was a relief- being able to make choices as she would and use her abilities to save a world, even if it is not my real one, is a great, albeit a little strange at first, feeling.
I believe that anyone and everyone can benefit from playing Dungeons & Dragons, even if it's only once. Whether you enjoy the role playing, the combat, the mysteries, the comedy, or even just screwing around with the other party members- there's something in it for everyone.