Dungeons And Dragons College Essay Example

Roll for perception! In popular tabletop role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons, the dungeon master will often ask the players to perform a dice roll to test their skills of perception to see if they fail or pass a task. With the question of “Who says?” we are the players being asked to survey our surroundings and the information provided to make a decision, ultimately leaving one answer, you. In this age of information, being able to suss out credibility, and value of information to fit a personal rhetoric of truth, is critical for understanding and navigating the world. 

An abundance of information is constantly flowing right at our fingertips. The world always seems to be a few clicks away, the only challenge with this is deciding what information is true versus false. Within this realm of deciphering, American writer and philosopher, Suzan Sontag, describes it best when quoting Nietzche saying “There are no facts, only interpretations.” This then questions the relevance of the author or work as the text is transformed through the perspective lenses of the reader with personal and historical context. A shift found agreeable by French theorist, Barthes, who argues that the author does not command the reader, but the reader gains control by being the destination of the work. Tactics of persuasion are often used to steer the reader in a chosen direction, from targeted advertisements to political propaganda. Becoming a sum of the information presented to you is the goal for these vulture-esque narrators. However, other readers, just like you, have access to dispute the same information being served. When the readers put their minds together to discuss and navigate these piles of findings, discourse communities are formed, in an act of reader alliance. Just like multiple players performing perception checks in the same room, the group stands a higher chance to find the hidden treasure.

Once the information has been perceived and analyzed as true, one decides what to do with the facts. This factor of disposability creates value in data. Furthermore, a currency is set in place between communities. Gold hoarding dragons become leaders, able to dispense knowledge at their will. So why do we not slay the dragon? American author, David Foster Wallace, has the answer for the fate of this authority, which boils down to the difference between an autocrat and a technocrat.  An autocrat is much like a dictator, a controlling elitist, a dragon to be slain, while the technocrat is chosen by the readers to be a trusted source for discerning data. In fact, this puts the power back in the hands of the perceiver, the power to decide the credibility and value of a leader as one who can produce information and guidance fitting their shared goals. In addition, the value of the leader impacts the value of the community, and its power of perception.

Going back to the individual reader, and their say, one uses information not only on the behalf of their communities, but for their personal authority. An example of using past experience and knowledge for an advantage in any field, is code-switching, when one switches language, vocabulary, and even tone of voice to accommodate a certain goal. Granting that one wants to share information, they need to use the credibility of other leaders and reputable sources to share new ideas. The reader, our fantasy campaign’s hero, relinquishes the power of perception and opts for a charisma saving throw when wanting to be perceived differently using the skill of code-switching to achieve trust from the readers of their ideal destination.

Arriving at the final dungeon, the journey is far from over, but a new idea put into perspective, the idea of who has the say. Navigating the abundance of sources seems a daunting task, but is hinged on the takeaway of the reader. Although authors and dungeon masters alike control the output of information, you, the player, are rolling the dice.


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