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Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play…
by David M. Ewalt
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Really great book. Total enjoyment.
This isn't a totally comprehensive history of role playing games -- it is more of a personal journey with history of RPGs and D&D intertwined. Well written. Given the recent article about how Gary Gygax lost control of TSR, this book gives some additional information that seems more even-handed.
Ends too soon. Good history of D&D up to Gygax's death. Would have been perfect if it covered the orgies of the WotC era.
I enjoyed a good bit of it, especially the history of TSR, but somehow was expecting a bit more still.
As the author said up front, maybe I failed my gather information check ;-)
A nice history of roleplaying games and Dungeons & Dragons in particular, interwoven with the author's own experiences getting into the hobby and working through a campaign. Not comprehensive, and sometimes the author strives too hard to fit events into a narrative, but good for both people curious about RPGs and for seasoned gamers looking for more detail. As a gamer himself, the author treats the hobby with respect, not contempt.
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (28)
Even if you've never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: the game has had a profound influence on our culture. Released in 1974--decades before the Internet and social media--Dungeons & Dragons inspired one of the original nerd subcultures, and is still revered by millions around the world. Now the authoritative history of the game is revealed by an award-winning journalist and lifelong D&D player. David Ewalt recounts the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game's roots on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, to its apotheosis as father of the modern video-game industry. As he chronicles the game's surprising origins (a history largely unknown even to hardcore players) and examines D&D's impact, Ewalt interweaves subculture analysis with his own gaming experiences to shed light on America's most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.--From publisher description.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)793.93The arts Recreational and performing arts Indoor games and amusements Other indoor amusements Adventure and fantasy games
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I didn't much care for the recountings of Ewalt's own sessions. I see what he was trying to do, communicate the appeal of the game that happens when you play it, but hearing about someone else's D&D session in a way that's interesting requires very special skills, and Ewalt doesn't have them. (That's not much of a knock; few people do.)
I did like a lot of the contextual chapters where Ewalt goes to different places in the gaming world that overlap with or connect to D&D, such as a Napoleonic wargaming convention. My favorite, though, was his trip to Otherworld, a sort of LARP weekend where participants go on a quest in person. He makes it sound so very much interesting and fun. I was very disappointed to learn it was just a thirty-minute drive from where we lived in Connecticut! How had I never heard of it during that whole decade? Now going would mean a plane flight... but maybe someday?