A Sunday post, “Inconceivable!”, to quote a certain Sicilian of movie fame. I’ve put this post together for the very special occasion today, the 40th anniversary of the publication of Dungeons & Dragons. The event has been reported by regular media outlets and by many industry insiders and enthusiasts. There is even going to be an Ask Me Anything session with John Peterson writer of Playing at the World. The information is on the picture below…
I’ve had a close relationship with the game for most of my adult life. I’m only a few months older than the game, and even if I came to the game years later, 12 years later to be exact, the game introduced me to a pastime and passion that has been a constant for two thirds of my life.
I saw the meme above a couple of days ago on a social media site and immediately identified with it. I might not have been there at the beginning, but among the games in my community I’m among the older. Ok I know Sammy, Tato, Tony and Piwie have seniority, but I’m one the older demographic of local gamers. Funny thing is I was there when the original Nintendo came out. I got a console the Christmas after I started playing D&D. I was also lucky to have a computer when young since my mother worked for IBM and I played a lot of early computer games. These days I play very few electronic games, but continue playing role-playing games weekly. Why did I become a tabletop gamer and not a computer/console gamer?
Friendships! D&D offered a social aspect that other games did not. I know that’s not the case with modern games, that thanks to the Internet modern MMOs and consoles gamers interact in ways we could not imagine in the 20th century. Way back then, getting together with my friends and imagining new wonderful worlds was much more powerful than any game we could play.
We played the Legend of Zelda, and adapted the world for a D&D campaign. That was the magic of the game. D&D and the industry it created influenced my life not just in the friendships I forged, but in the skills I picked up, thinking on my feet, improvisation, speaking in public, communicating effectively, it improved my reading and writing.
D&D has influenced out culture, our entertainment, and all those newfangled electronic games the whippersnappers play these days, they are the inheritors of D&D. So respect your elders!
I may not play D&D anymore, but I play Pathfinder, and that’s close enough. When D&D Next, or whatever it’s called, comes out I will more than likely pick it up. D&D is still iconic, what many people think of when you mention an RPG. The brand is obviously valuable to Hasbro and they seem poised to spread its presence to various media. I wish them luck, and continued success. Thanks to Gary Gygax and David Arneson and all the other visionaries who were there at the beginning, to all the creators and publishers who continue to work on the hobby, and to all the Game Masters and Players that keep the spirit of D&D and all PGs alive. Here is to 80 more years, at least!