ALPENA, Mich.– What looks like a group chat to some is actually a fantasy adventure unfolding with rolls of dice.
Phineas Imhoff has been playing the popular game “Dungeons and Dragons” with his friends at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library for several years. Now he runs it as an official library program, open to anyone in the community.
In “Dungeons and Dragons,” or “DnD” for short, players create characters and go on adventures laid out by the “Dungeon Master.” Though the game is traditionally played around a table, the library has helped him gather the resources to make an online version possible.
“The library was very nice and was able to offer resources and tech support, and help set up independent emails and such for the purposes of running it.”
Thanks to the library’s help, Phineas has created a story, or “campaign” in which players take on the roles of low–life treasure hunters.
Despite the ease with which he’s able to host games, playing online comes with some hurdles. Phineas says that the toughest part of playing online is not cheaters, but the lack of physicality.
“It can be difficult and hard to engage. Hard to gauge, like, how people are reacting to things. Because not everyone likes turning their camera on. And so it can be difficult sometimes to be, like, ‘oh is this person distracted by something else or are they just thinking really hard about their response?'”
Nevertheless, Phineas hopes that these adventures can help not just his classmates beat the boredom, but anyone in the community who wants to try something new.
For more information on how to join, visit alpenalibrary.org.