I wonder how different the world would look today if 'D&D' actually stood for 'Dragons & Dungeons'?
Maybe no different. The typical module might be creature-focused rather than site-based. But the cascading consequences of even that fine change, in minds across the lands and down the years, could have done odd things.
In computing for example - bound up with the speculative genres and game playing - it might have encouraged the development of more semantic interfaces, oral over tactile say. Then when Scotty picked up that mouse in The Voyage Home the computer might really have understood. Assuming that Trek wasn't already old hat in this new new world.
Maybe whales would be travelling back for humans, long since transcended to paradise?
As the D&D generation grew up, the potential for greater insights into the nature of living beings could have deepened human interaction, revolutionised social structure. Gamers might be the great communicators, more so than now - at the heart of every community.
Or maybe none of that could ever happen. Could it be our residual or conditioned nature to put the thing before the person: rule before play, ownership over use, having for being?_