12. The Duffer Brothers didn’t actually play Dungeons and Dragons
The pilot of Stranger Things began with a board game. Dustin, Lucas, Mike and Will sat around the table in Mike’s basement rolling the dice and tapping into their imagination. Of course, by now you probably know just how much the game sequence foreshadows the rest of the series.
It began with Will being forced to choose between casting a protection spell or the offensive move, fireball. Obviously, he chooses fireball and never makes it to school the next day. Now, as someone who wasn’t born until the ’90s, and therefore, not playing any games until several years after Dungeons and Dragons was popular, I appreciated how easy it was to understand the mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons without ever playing it.
And that’s probably why the Duffer Brothers chose that game instead of the one they played more as a child.
According to several interviews, the Duffer Brothers actually liked Magic the Gathering more:
"“We weren’t playing much Dungeons and Dragons, we were mostly playing Magic the Gathering, but very similar. And we would go out in the woods and you felt like you were on these adventures. So that was all very much we’re just ripping from our childhood there.” — Ross Duffer"
Actually, when I read this, it goes back to my theory about how the subconscious affects the Upside Down. Because it sounds like it’s less about the game and more about imagining yourself in the scenario.