In class, we played Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition for three weeks, it was an interesting experiment in roleplaying and an interesting way to demonstrate leadership. Having played Dungeons and Dragons before, both Fifth Edition as well as spending about 5 or so years toiling away with the Revised Third Edition, I would consider myself fairly experienced with D&D, I always think the hardest part about D&D is the role-playing, especially when the game is played over the internet, whether it be a voice call or a text chat. It is difficult for many players to step back from themselves and into the role of a character that has (likely) never existed before. The mechanics of the game can be taught and learned by anyone, roleplaying on the other hand is more difficult and depends on the person, it will come more naturally to some than it will to others, but it can be learned with practice and time. All of that said, D&D is a fun game, I enjoyed the three short sessions I played in class.
I think D&D is a game for everyone, every player will get something different out of the experience, and with 5th Edition especially, it is a nice introduction to Tabletop RPGs. I think the main drawback to attempting to play D&D in a classroom setting is that the sessions felt a bit rushed, each time a question arose of what to do and where to take the party of characters next, there was a solid minute of staggering silence. While this would not normally be an issue in D&D, the shortened time frame to accomplish the goals of the session made the lack of decisive action a bit frustrating. I had resigned myself to a background role, as I wanted to make sure that other players had a chance to take the spotlight more often, given that I consider myself experienced and I would hope that everyone who was playing for the first time would have a good first experience.
On the other hand, I understand that roleplaying with a group of people you don’t really know can be intimidating and that there is a bit of shyness to the first couple of sessions. I had never attempted the “Lost Mine of Phandelver” module, so I was going in blind, but the game was run well enough by our guest DM and I had fun with my Blue Dragonborn Tempest Cleric, and I figure that’s all that really matters.