Discussion:
Why The FBI Investigated ‘Dungeons_&_Dragons’ Players in the 1990s
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Ubiquitous
2017-06-22 14:02:53 UTC
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An FBI memo written during the Unabomber investigation describes
roleplayers as 'armed and dangerous,' 'extremely intelligent
individuals' and 'overweight and not neat in appearance.'

This story was originally published on MuckRock and has been re-
syndicated with permission.

FBI files released to CJ Ciaramella reveal that the Bureau
investigated a group of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) players as
potential leads in the Unabomber case. A 1995 memo from the San
Francisco office notes that the loosely-knit group of gamers were
"armed and dangerous."

As background, the memo goes on to summarize an earlier interview
with an employee of DnD's former publisher TSR, which gave an
extremely abbreviated introduction to role-playing and war gaming…

an even briefer description of DnD's history…

and a rather harsh description of role-players and war gamers as
"exceptionally intelligent individuals" who were often "overweight
and not neat in appearance."

The memo ends with a list, not included in the file, of "known
members of the Dungeons and Dragons."

As for why the FBI might have thought that twenty-sided die had
anything to do with the Unabomber, a heavily redacted section of the
file offers some context - prior to the memo, the Bureau had
interviewed a member of the group, who indicated there had been a
spat of paranoid accusations regarding the bombings. One of those
accusations had apparently made it to the Bureau, possibly through
contacts established during an earlier investigation.

The case doesn't go any further in the file, and though there's no
formal closing memo, the release letter mentioned certain portions
were missing.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-fbi-investigated-
dungeons-and-dragons-players-1990s
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have to audit liberals & wire tap reporters' phones.
Anonymous Jack
2017-06-22 17:01:30 UTC
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Post by Ubiquitous
and a rather harsh description of role-players and war gamers as
"exceptionally intelligent individuals" who were often "overweight
and not neat in appearance."
Harsh? That description hits the mark surprisingly often
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-06-23 13:25:54 UTC
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On Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:01:30 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by Ubiquitous
and a rather harsh description of role-players and war gamers as
"exceptionally intelligent individuals" who were often "overweight
and not neat in appearance."
Harsh? That description hits the mark surprisingly often
So does the warning about them being "armed". I think that in every
group I have ever played with, at least ONE person owned one or more
swords, daggers, an axe, or something similar. Admittedly, most of
those were cheap "play" swords that probably would snap after three or
four blows, but you could still inflict a good deal of harm on
somebody (the daggers and knives tended to be of better quality).

I don't care how crappy the manufacture, its not wise to mess with
anyone wielding a six-foot long claymore ;-)
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-23 15:22:52 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:01:30 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
On Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 10:02:55 AM UTC-4, Ubiquitous
Post by Ubiquitous
and a rather harsh description of role-players and war gamers
as "exceptionally intelligent individuals" who were often
"overweight and not neat in appearance."
Harsh? That description hits the mark surprisingly often
So does the warning about them being "armed". I think that in
every group I have ever played with, at least ONE person owned
one or more swords, daggers, an axe, or something similar.
I game with a guy that, in his house, is never more than two steps
away from a knife, sword or gun. But that has more to do with the
neighborhood he lives in than gaming.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Admittedly, most of those were cheap "play" swords that probably
would snap after three or four blows, but you could still
inflict a good deal of harm on somebody (the daggers and knives
tended to be of better quality).
I don't care how crappy the manufacture, its not wise to mess
with anyone wielding a six-foot long claymore ;-)
I recall a party once, where one of the less smart guys in the
group was playing around with a decrorative wall hanger of a two
handed sword, that everyone *knew* was crap. (We called it the
"wubba wubba sword," for the way it would bounce around when you
move it.) He started doing various practice moves one might do with
an actual sword, including a 90 degree swing (stupidly) a couple of
feet above someone else's head. When he came to a stop, the tang
gave way, and the blade kept going. Based on the (lack of) depth of
the dent in the door frame, it would probably have drawn blood, but
only just.
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tetsubo57
2017-06-22 20:13:23 UTC
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Post by Ubiquitous
An FBI memo written during the Unabomber investigation describes
roleplayers as 'armed and dangerous,' 'extremely intelligent
individuals' and 'overweight and not neat in appearance.'
This story was originally published on MuckRock and has been re-
syndicated with permission.
FBI files released to CJ Ciaramella reveal that the Bureau
investigated a group of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) players as
potential leads in the Unabomber case. A 1995 memo from the San
Francisco office notes that the loosely-knit group of gamers were
"armed and dangerous."
As background, the memo goes on to summarize an earlier interview
with an employee of DnD's former publisher TSR, which gave an
extremely abbreviated introduction to role-playing and war gaming…
an even briefer description of DnD's history…
and a rather harsh description of role-players and war gamers as
"exceptionally intelligent individuals" who were often "overweight
and not neat in appearance."
The memo ends with a list, not included in the file, of "known
members of the Dungeons and Dragons."
As for why the FBI might have thought that twenty-sided die had
anything to do with the Unabomber, a heavily redacted section of the
file offers some context - prior to the memo, the Bureau had
interviewed a member of the group, who indicated there had been a
spat of paranoid accusations regarding the bombings. One of those
accusations had apparently made it to the Bureau, possibly through
contacts established during an earlier investigation.
The case doesn't go any further in the file, and though there's no
formal closing memo, the release letter mentioned certain portions
were missing.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-fbi-investigated-
dungeons-and-dragons-players-1990s
Well I do make hand weapons as a hobby. And I am a socialist. And pagan. So I imagine the FBI would find that 'interesting'.
--
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