It’s Science: Research Shows D&D Good For Mental Health

Tabletop gaming has seen a rise in popularity over the past ten years, with an influx of interest following the Coronavirus pandemic. Limited research has explored the impact of tabletop roleplaying games on mental health and self-concepts such as self-esteem and self efficacy. This study employed a repeated-measures design with four measurement points to quantitatively evaluate the effect of playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) on mental health and self-concepts in a community sample. Twenty-five community participants took part in 8 weeks of D&D gameplay (one 1 hr session per week), completing pre-, mid-, and postintervention surveys. Eighteen of these participants also completed a one-month follow up measure. Participants demonstrated significant decreases in depression, stress, and anxiety and significant increases in self-esteem and self-efficacy over the study period. As such, D&D may have potential utility as a wellbeing intervention or prevention program.