Some of you may already have read it, but I came across a pretty interesting magazine article on D&D called Destroy All Monsters by Paul La Farge from the September 2006 Believer magazine. It’s a pretty good “real journalist” look at D&D from someone who had played it as a kid. As part of the article, they travel to Lake Geneva and play D&D with Gary Gygax!
Especially interesting is their look into Gygax – if you remove the blind hero worship that most D&D-types apply to him, you get a pretty interesting and complex character. He delves into the sordid history of the rise and fall of TSR as part of the article, and gets quotes from the Blumes and Lorraine Williams too, and he’s pretty good about pointing out things he thinks are more self-serving than true coming from all involved. You don’ t usually get things on D&D from an informed but professional point of view, so I found the article a really good read.
Good catch! This was an excellent article and it shed light on a lot of things, not least being the events which culminated in the death of David Sutherland III in 2005.
Very interesting and informative, and not something I would have caught on a regular patrol of such things. Mostly because I have not regularly patrolled in years. I printed this one out and read it over a cigar. Words of warning, I think, for anyone who lets a game get between them and family….
Not a bad article at all, a lot of sloshing through familiar territory (although with my family, you didn’t lose family time playing D&D), although the Satanic angle was picked up by my grandmother, who, to this day, STILL feels that the devil is beyond D&D.
The only part of the article that got to me was the mentioning of the rape fantasies. I have never played in a group in which rape was brought up and I have played in a lot of games with a variety of people over the years. My games now are very Hobbit-esque because we like to escape from the horrors of the world (albeit through killing goblins and orcs and such) and live in the quaint little world of our creation.
Yeah, I think most teenagers are all about losing themselves into *anything* that avoids their family, D&D being one of about a thousand things on that list.