Although the exact date of first publication for D&D is not exactly know, it was in the month of January 1974 that Arneson & Gygax’s creation was introduced to the world. [1]

Four years later, I stumbled onto a brightly colored box set and thus this game and my life have been intertwined ever since.

There’s going to be a lot of digital and actual ink spilled with words probably much better than I can write summarizing the impact of D&D on the modern world. The only thing I can really talk about is its impact on my life.

It’s a bit humbling and … weird? to look back and think about my life has including this thing that has always been there, always had some sort of impact. Whether through influencing literature and culture, being the source of genre and lore for both tabletop and video games that I’ve played, or been the subject of my creations, D&D has just always been there and continues to be.

I was an avid reader since getting my first library card when I was 6 years old. A couple of years later, earning the ability to check (some) books out of the adult section! I had read The Hobbit prior to finding the Basic D&D box set, which may be a reason why the cover appealed to me so much, but after digging into the rule book, I began reading so much fantasy literature (and then some of the more salacious fantasy titles that were also being put out, and stored in my father’s metal cabinet!) and imagining so many different worlds! And they could come alive through this game!

Soon acquiring the three Advanced D&D books, and then mail-ordering the Traveller box set, I began a journey into game refereeing and creating campaigns and playing games that has continued mostly for the next forty-odd years. There’ve been pauses – military service, raising children, divorce, focusing on video games, but D&D has always had a presence and I’ve always had some sort of D&D rule book in my house, ready to be read through and played.

Fifty years later, I still play essentially the same game I played as a pre-teen boy. Hopefully a bit more wiser and better at presentation! Yet with the same eagerness to see “what’s out there” and explore these vistas of imagination where “everything herein is fantastic” !

Happy Birthday/Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons. Thank you to David, Gary, Dr Holmes and all the others involved in the creation and evolution of D&D. You’ve shaped my life.

[1] As proposed by Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World, a book about the genesis of RPGs and D&D.

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