By Krissh Bhargava
“I spent literally days and days and days and days playing Dungeons & Dragons, and that led me to a sense of strategy which was then, of course, very helpful when I later got to my entrepreneurial and business life.” Reid Hoffman, co-founder Linkedin.
Chappaqua, NY— It was the podcast featuring Reid Hoffman that piqued my curiosity. As a normal middle schooler I had always thought that Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was for nerds, and with society’s view on the game, who wouldn’t. But after listening to Reid Hoffman on the Masters of Scale podcast I realized how helpful D&D could actually be.
That was in the end of seventh grade, fast forward two years, and now I play D&D for about 10 hours a week with a group of friends who I didn’t know when we first started. Reflecting back, I realize that I met some of my closest friends and made some of my fondest memories playing a game that I once thought was lame. That realization led me into creating my very own D&D summer camp this year in collaboration with these very special people; Eli Brown and Owen Sibinga.
We wanted to share our experiences with other middle schoolers and show them that this so-called game isn’t just a game. It has so many other unintended benefits, the most rewarding being building friendships. When I first got interested in D&D I had no close friends. I had just moved from Long Island which was only an hour away, but I still felt in alien territory. Other kids had already established friend groups and I was the new kid trying to find somebody to hang out with. D&D played a pivotal role in changing that for me. It helped me find my tribe and really make close friendships that I cherish to this day. I really want to give this experience to other kids as well; to those who think they don’t fit in, and even those that just want to try something out of their comfort zone. Because as we know from Harry Potter, nothing builds friendships like defeating monsters.
But as much as we wanted to do that we also wanted to do something more. Something meaningful. We didn’t just want to be entrepreneurs; we wanted our entrepreneurship to make a difference, however small. We wanted to fight for a cause that we believed in.
That’s when we decided to donate 20% of all profits to the “Innocence Project.” The Innocence Project’s main goal is to exonerate those who were wrongfully imprisoned mainly using DNA testing that wasn’t available at the time of the crime, but without money to pay bail they can’t do that. That’s where the donors come in. When you donate, that money goes towards paying bail for someone who cannot afford it. That’s why we chose this cause. To see our contribution make such a difference in someone’s life is just astounding.
We can’t wait to share our passions and introduce more people to the mystical world of D&D!
For more information you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.