09 March 2011

Salon Article on Dungeons and Dragons

The article can be found here.

It’s not bad!

Unlike the author Ethan Gilsdorf (who, in case anyone is curious, has a website to promote his upcoming book, Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, here), I never completely abandoned role-playing games. Even during those long dry years when I wasn’t playing at all (especially the mid-late 1990s), I would consistently purchase the occasional RPG book (at least once a year), and make tentative plans to start again ‘soon.’

The concluding section of the article (about 1/5th of its length) reads somewhat like a promotion for Wizards of the Coast and the game that they presently call ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ (but which bears only a superficial resemblance to Ye Olde Game). That is somewhat unfortunate, but I suppose inevitable in an article intended for a general audience. The rest of the article, though, is enjoyable and worth reading. (I certainly agree with the author’s observations about the appeal of D&D to awkward male teenagers in those crazy years of 1979-1984.)

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link, that's a great article!

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  2. More grist for my belief that the OSR is riding a wave of Gen-X returnees. His window of 1979-1984 is basically my own (add a year on the outer end) and likely that of many, many of us.

    Good to see Tavis quoted too.

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  3. "(I certainly agree with the author’s observations about the appeal of D&D to awkward male teenagers in those crazy years of 1979-1984.)"

    Ditto... those were the years the game consumed me (and created some cool memories).

    It's an interesting book (FFaGG)-- my wife picked it up for me at Christmas. Alot of things in it I can relate to. I quit playing entirely for almost two decades for the same reasons ("putting childish things aside"), and started playing again maybe 4-5 years ago. It brought back to life a part of me that I thought had been dead for a very long time. I found out that part was never really dead... it was simply awaiting affirmation... that it was okay to hold onto it. Playing D&D makes me no less of an adult than bowling or Monopoly does.

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.