This university is offering credit for learning to play Dungeons and Dragons

The professor behind the project touts the "social" benefits of learning the game.

A new course at a Vermont college will teach students how to play the popular tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons for credit.

Castleton University in Vermont is offering college credit to students for learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons.

Greg Engel, an assistant professor in the Psychology Department, will pilot a virtual course on how to play the popular tabletop game.

“There is strong evidence of the benefits of having healthy recreation opportunities. It’s something that isn’t built into our society. Making time for hobbies can help reduce stress, improve health, and performance in other areas, such as family, work and school,” Engel reasoned.

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But the class will reportedly be simply on how to play the game rather than the game’s supposed psychological Importance.

“Dungeons and Dragons promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are transferrable to students’ future academic work and their lives outside of the classroom. Learning to identify different ways to approach a problem is valuable for students who wish to enter the workforce or continue their studies in graduate school,” Engel told Campus Reform

He also explained that the game is “useful for creating communities and positive social interactions, which are known to improve student success.” Engel said that the goal of the one-credit course is to “help to create a greater sense of community on campus,” reasoning that “there is evidence of improved outcomes for students who have a sense of belonging and have connected with others on campus.”

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Students at Castleton are divided over whether offering this class for academic credit is a good idea. 

Delaney Whitehead, a sophomore Kinesiology major says “if enough people enjoy it or want to learn about it, why not put it towards academic credit. There are music and art classes that go towards academic credit.” 

But others see the class as a waste of resources. 

Amber Kimball, a sophomore health science major told Campus Reform that “I personally don’t think it should be [for credit]. I feel like it wouldn’t help us for ‘reality’.’ There’s no real purpose for it. Sure, on your free time, but playing a game and getting credit doesn’t make sense to me.” 

Another student Phil Kluge, a sophomore Sports Management and History Major, told Campus Reform that his school offering classes not related at all to academics lessens the value of his college education. 

“I personally want a degree that is valuable and giving credit to classes like that would take credibility away from the school and the value of every degree that is being handed out at Castleton University. If you do that for a credit, you could also start FIFA or CS: Go classes and that really doesn’t have anything to do anymore with a valuable academic education,” he added.