« Survey: Women Over 40 Dominate Online Games | Main | Associated Press Says "Ludology" »

Feb 13, 2004



OK, for all the train spotters out there. I believe that D&D was actually released in 1973 at EasterCon and was available directly from the creators through that year, however it was not published till January 1974 (anyone know the day?) in the first 1,000 copy print run white box version.


This is good online source for the history, for those interested.


It confirms January 1974 as the publication date, but alas--no more specific date. (Do you mean the first day a copy hit a shelf, Ren?)

The story of Arneson/Gygax collaboration/struggle in the original creation and as the game grew in popularity is *really* interesting. Reminds me of the other interesting collaborations along the path to the present day MMORPG, e.g.: Bushnell/Alcorn, Crowther/Woods, Trubshaw/Bartle, Romero/Carmack, etc.


Greg> Do you mean the first day a copy hit a shelf, Ren?
I mean what ever the offical release date is according to TSR at the time which is probably the date of the press release or the day that the first box hit the first shelf i guess - ok so i'm an anorak for this type of detail.


Nothing new. :)

We still play once or twice a month. The same gang that's been playing together since grade 4.

Holy crap I'm old.


You could sell your D&D character, but what is the point (and who would buy it)? There is no scarcity involved.

I do think however, that many of the themes discussed here have resonance with pen and paper RPGs. For example, the open gaming license used by d20 has significantly changed the economics of game supplements.

Certainly, in the pen and paper RPG world, people have to take the existing materials and create a living world from the static materials. This is a lot of work, but can also be quite rewarding. Neverwinter Nights is one example of porting this model to the digital realm, what other possibilities are there?

Many of the legal issues here have also been raised in the pen and paper context, such as how copyrightable are the rules? There have also been user created extensions of gaming systems that violate copyright, such as the short-lived GURPS: Halo, which ported the videogame to the pen and paper realm. For that matter, see official ports from digital to paper such as GURPS: Alpha Centauri and GURPS: Myth.

There are definitely some interesting parallels to be looked at here.


In the comic Knights of the Dinner Table, the main (comic) characters sold their (Hackmaster) characters on eBay. Shortly afterwards, in real life, someone attempted to sell their AD&D character on eBay.

I don't know whether the sale was prompted by the KoDT strip, nor whether anyone actually bought the character (I doubt it - it wasn't all that good).

Just another example of reality getting there before us.



30 years? Oof! And I've been a game master for almost all that time.

For the last two years, I've been DM'ing an AD&D campaign with my (early college age) kids and some of their friends. It is about two sessions from conclusion. My daughter is creating her own campaign world with its own beastiary, floriary, and two written languages as a part of her personal art portfolio.

About 10 years ago I bound all of my D&D books (PG, DMG, MM, FF, and 1st edition Deities and Demigods, complete with Cthulu) into a single 3-inch thick leather-covered volume, stamped with my initials. My daughter calls it "The Friff".

As a result, I never 'upgraded' to 3rd edition rules. I didn't really see a need to, since the game has always been primarily a form of interactive story-telling to me. The simpler the rules, the better.

Long live geeks, and our imaginations -

The comments to this entry are closed.