When folklore is overrun with fantasy…

I’ve been thinking about various creatures in folklore, so I decided to look up some of those good old stories like your grandparents tell. What did I find? Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and myriad other fantasy-based games.

In my attempts to find some accurate information (read traditional folklore) about goblins and ogres and elves, I discovered just how prevalent these games are. Every time I found a website that looked like it would give information based on the tales that have been around since the beginning of time, I’d hit a point that made it clear the information came from one of these games.

Now, I have no problem with people wanting detailed information for their games. I get that understanding the various races involved makes playing the game easier. My problem is that this game information tends to stray from the folktales I’m interested in. And unfortunately, due to the popularity of fantasy-based games, it’s nearly impossible to do a quick Google search for any of the more common (and even less common) folkloric creatures and get information based in the tales rather than the games.

Without wasting hours wading through sites devoted to various games, I think the only way to find the information I’m interested in is to spend hours in some out-of-the-way corner of the library digging through dusty books that are as old as as the tales I’m looking for.

The Internet is a great tool for finding information, but sometimes it takes a miracle to find accurate information on the subject you’re interested in.


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