When I started university many, many, many moons ago I fell in with the wrong crowd. Looking back, I can see how it happened. The nice girl living next door to me in student hall invited me in for tea and soon after she was offering to "lend" me things. "Nothing bad was going to happen", I was told, "everybody's doing it and it's perfectly normal". And this is when I began playing role-playing games. I had long wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons, but the only ones playing RPGs in my erstwhile home town were boys hanging out in the library basement, and they had a strict "no girls" rule. When my student hall neighbour, Liz, offered to lend me the Player's Handbook 2nd Edition, I felt vindicated. To this day, most of the D&D players I know are women. And they are hardcore, I tell you.
Eventually most of my Copenhagen social circle was composed of RPGers - this is not to say that we only hung out in order to slay orcs, but most of the interesting people I met also just happened to be gamers. Smart, interesting people from all walks of life with real jobs, real lives and actual social skills. They were interested in communal storytelling and in imaginary flights of fancy. I miss them. Sadly I have not been able to find a gaming group here in Glasgow - the ones I have found all meet on my knitting night! - but I keep toying with the idea of starting up a small group.
So, imagine my reaction when I read that a murder spree was linked to the perpetrator playing D&D.. yeah, I was not impressed. As someone in the comments remarked: "1989 called, and it wants its favourite baseless accusation back."
A few apt links: