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The Plugged In Show, Episode 175: Wait—Dungeons & Dragons Is Still a Thing? (Plus, NF’s ‘Hope’)


Back when I was growing up in the 1980s, Dungeons & Dragons was on a lot of parents’ no-no list. It wasn’t quite on the level of, say, playing heavy-metal records backwards to hear satanic messages, but plenty of moms and dads were worried about all the magic and monsters found in D&D (and how they might influence their kids). News reports from the day suggested that those concerns held some weight.

But whether those worries were valid or not, the role-playing game held on—and today, it’s arguably as popular as ever. In fact, a new movie based on the game—Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves—hits theaters this weekend.

On this week’s episode, we’ll talk about both the game and the movie with Plugged In regulars Adam Holz, Kennedy Unthank, Kristin Smith and Jonathan McKee, along with special guest (and D&D expert) Andrew Armstrong.

And then we’ll turn our attention to “Hope”—not the broad concept, but rather the new single from Christian rapper NF.

Speaking of which, we hope you’ll join in on the conversation as well. Did you play D&D as a kid? How about as an adult? What did your parents want you to stay away from when you were a kid—and how did you respond? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram, or send us an email at [email protected].

And you know what’s next: Check out the links below to read more about everything we discussed.

Additional Resources:

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

3 Responses

  1. -I don’t understand the focus on NF. The music isn’t even that good, and your review describing the Hope music video as “art” is just over the top. It’s a double standard. There are many non-christian artists that have much better music and videos that are heavily criticized simply because their music isn’t christian. But with NF all the negative elements are overlooked, and called “art” simply because they’ve labeled themselves as christian. As far as Dungeons and Dragons, it’s only as satanic as you make it.

    1. -Not everyone will like his music, but to claim that NF’s music and videos are being upheld as art solely because he happens to be a Christian is a pretty ignorant and shallow analysis. NF has actually been more criticized within Christian circles because his music is “too dark”, or because he doesn’t usually reference God directly. At the very least, regardless of whether you think he is a good rapper, his video production has been consistently very good: the colour grading, the camera work, the continuity between videos, the symbolism, etc. Sure, PluggedIn has been giving him props, but why wouldn’t they mention him here and there? He’s one of those unique artists whose talent and wide reach led him to a successful crossover into the secular music world. His last two albums reached #1 on the Billboard. He accomplished that without losing the moral compass present in his earlier music, when it was still labelled as “Christian rap”. It’s frankly unsurprising that PluggedIn would take notice.

  2. -In Emily Tsiao’s review of “A Thousand and One” she writes, “And, of course, there’s the story’s big plot twist at the end. I won’t spoil it here, (you can find the details in our Other Negative Elements section) but suffice it to say that the entire tale is based on a lie.” This is a more of a spoiler than I really wanted to read, and quite unnecessary. The film has been clocking in at 98% positive at Rotten Tomatoes, and I was thinking of seeing it tomorrow, but Ms. Tsiao’s comment kinda put a damper on it for me. Please try to be a little more circumspect in the future. Content advisories don’t have to give away plot points.