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Showing posts from January, 2024

Fifty Years of Dungeons & Dragons

Fifty years ago this month, the first 1000 copies of the original Dungeons & Dragons were printed and then boxed up at Gary Gygax's house. It's supposed to have been late in January of 1974 , but we don't have a specific date. January 1974 is good enough for me. And what counts as the specific origin date, anyway? The final draft? The actual printing? The availability for sale? We're close enough. I'm saying it's been fifty years right now. Without more precise information, it's not too early to begin commemorating the half-century of D&D. It was not the first role-playing game. It barely represents the range of role-playing games that exist and have existed. Still, its influence is undeniable, incalculable. When David McDaniel ( Tedron ) tried it in 1975--this was the guy who coined the convention that we all use now, of saying dee-[number] to specify a kind of die--he wrote, It's a hell of a game. It is, as I suspected, a new order, a new dime

Those Who Cross the Boundaries May Be Attacked: Gamers Hating Other Gamers

Millions of people have had a chuckle at the short YouTube video about the guy outraged on the internet that other people like the thing he doesn't like. Probably all gamers will identify with this in one way or another, either because they have felt those feelings or they've been targeted by the rage of those who feel those feelings. "Your games are bad! My games are good!" This is not a new phenomenon, of course. Along these lines, already in 1983 Gary Alan Fine had an interesting observation in his book Shared Fantasy: Role-Playing Games as Social Worlds of 1983, on the sociology of RPG players. The passage deserves attention on its own (p. 154): Even though this is a relatively small social scene, considerable fragmentation exists. Although the number of hard-core fantasy role-play gamers probably does not exceed 5,000 persons, schisms are common. … The gaming world is not made up of individuals who love and respect each other. Gamers have their own styles of p