This article is the last part of my three part interview with Uri Kurlianchik. It is supposed to shed some light on the events around removal of the D&D Kids series from the Wizards of the Coast homepage. The preliminary article of my series can be found here. After the interview I will take a look back at what was said and written and as well hope to publish an interview with Kynn, who is mentioned by Uri in part two.
Jan: How did you get to visiting schools and presenting D&D to kids? What are your motives and goals concerning this kind of work?
Uri: I came upon this job by chance during my university years and signed up immediately. Traveling from school to school and telling stories and playing games, working with a bunch of awesome DMs and all-around groovy people? This was nothing short of my dream job! After I finished my BA, I started doing this full time (13–14 groups). The rest is history.
Jan: Do you still visit schools to present D&D to kids? If so, in the name of WotC?
Uri: Sure do! Just this month, we had an adventure building seminar which had produced some extraordinary ideas, a series of LARPs based on Highlander and a week-long adventure exploring Gnostic and neoplatonic ideas. Now it’s summer vacation but afterward I’m getting back to regular gaming with full throttle.
Jan: Has your financial relation with WotC changed during course of recent events? Like, if they paid you for school visits or writing articles, do they still do so? Or have they completely broken up with you?
Uri: Wizards had honored all contracts and agreements. Saying more would be a breach of confidentiality. Regarding my after school-activity, it was not affected by “the events” (sounds ominous, doesn’t it?) in any way.
Jan: If I may ask, have the recent events put you in some kind of personal jeopardy?
Uri: I certainly hope not! Much can be said about my critics, but I very strongly doubt any of them are mad enough to come here all the way from the States to try to assassinate me!
I did find the whole affair very frustrating however. Throughout my life I was spared the company of hateful people who lack anything even remotely resembling a sense of humor. Finally getting to meet them was a very sobering and unpleasant experience.
I shudder to think of these people around children. I think nothing mutilates a child more than an educator without a sense of humor. My grandfather, blessed be his memory, used to say that people without a sense of humor are cripples. I want to upgrade his statement; people without a sense of humor are a great danger to this world.
Jan: Is there anything you’d like the readers to know? Or some things you like to explain?
Uri: Yes. Those who liked my articles, especially the funny quotes that came along with them, could be interested in visiting my new site, DNDkids. It’s got tons of funny table talk from both kids and adults, as well as old and new articles about gaming with children. Gamers with quotes of their own are more than welcome to send me their funny (or scary) stories – the more fun and LOLz there are online the better life will be for everyone.
Soon DNDkids will also have gaming materials and art produced by my students. Anyone who’s interested in gaming with children, either because they want some advice on playing with kids or simply because they find my anecdotes amusing, will enjoy what DNDkids has to offer.
Lastly, I write of what I see with my eyes and hear with my ears. I have neither the means nor the desire to gather statistics on global gaming or education habits, nor do I write of what should be, I have no idea what should be, I’m not a politician.
I write only of the various experiences provided by my work. If this offends someone, they should address their complaints to the source, not the vessel.