Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) can indeed be fantastic. As Dara pointed out it’s so many great “soft skills” that your child’s future employer will thank you for like problem solving, math, logic and understanding the consequences of decisions. I’ve played for over 30 years at this point, through all the negative and positive attention it’s had and I can tell you that for me, it was never and still isn’t much other than an excuse to get together with friends on a regular schedule and hang out when it comes down to it.
It’s like any other game, it’s a lot more about WHO they’re playing with than what they’re playing. You can make it crazy bad, but that isn’t because the game is designed to be that way. Just think about Pictionary, the game itself isn’t designed to be naughty but it sure does have the capability if you’re playing with “those” kind of people.
And as far as Podcasts go there’s some incredibly popular ones about “actual play” of D&D that I’d make sure your child avoids unless you’re OK with a very adult tilt and language for them such as Critical Role. I personally listen to it because I’m OK with the content, but I turn it off if my daughter (12, almost 13) is in ear-shot.
One last thing to consider. D&D play sessions can be quite long. It isn’t uncommon for them to last 6+ hours. So knowing where your kid is for that length of time and knowing they’re not on electronics much during that time (unless they’re playing online) is a pretty big win in my book.
I actually run a game for my daughter and seven of her friends (ages 10-14) monthly and I’ve slipped in a lot of ethical and moral lessons for them with it. And I’ve noticed her thinking out of the box quite a bit more since she started playing.