It’s gone through several major revisions, and has thousands of expansions available for it’s core rules to tailor the game. Hundreds of other role playing games have spawned based on its design.
This article by Salon, All I needed to know about life I learned from “Dungeons & Dragons”, peels back the years and bad media about the game to dig into what it really did for a lot of people. I’ll admit, it was the sole reason I got one of my jobs while in University.
Here’s the story:
I was interviewing, one of dozens, for a job at an analytical chemical laboratory. I was nothing special back then, just one of the drones. I had included “Pen and Paper Role Playing Games” as one of my interests on my resume. At the end of a thoroughly miserable interview, the employer caught my eyes and asked me, “Ever made it through the ‘Temple of Elemental Evil’?” I’m sure I sat for a few moments with my mouth open and a stunned look on my face. I choked out an answer and we proceeded to talk about some of our adventures and experiences for the rest of the interview. Later than day I found out I had been chosen and hired.
Several months later a bunch of students were sitting around the lunch table at that work place. The topic of our interviews came up and the hiring manager was also there. When he was asked what made him pick me, his response was this: “He was the only Gamer in the bunch. I’ve found that people who play Role Playing Games are the best at thinking outside the box, and have a better grasp on planning, organization, and working together.”