Of Dice and Men

Of Dice and Men

The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2013.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451640502
1451640501
9781451640519
145164051X
9781451640526
1451640528
Branch Call Number: 793.93 Ewa
Characteristics: vii, 276 pages ; 24 cm

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gsplbritt
Sep 19, 2018

I really wanted to like this book but unfortunately ,while I found part of it to be fascinating, there was a part of the book that didn't sit well with me. 'Gatekeeping' would be the best way to describe it. The author more then once rallied behind the idea that these spaces didn't include women like when he was surprised to find mostly women at his friends table and claiming that people at conventions "were middle aged white men". You can see that he does not have a broader perspective of geek culture. Part of the problem with the narrative is that we are asked to use Ewalt as a surrogate into the story but he clearly defines the perimeters that don't allow everyone to engage.

a
angelamuliu
Feb 09, 2018

DnD's history, mixed in with the author's experience with the game... I'd say maybe 60% of this book is just the author being a massive nerd about DnD (but this is a positive - his enthusiasm is addicting).

s
shxyan
Aug 18, 2016

If you are a long time fan of Dungeons & Dragons or just a RPG fan you will love this book. It is a combination of the history of the game, the authors journey and his campaign.

z
ZpTqN
Mar 27, 2016

Of Dice and Men by David Ewalt provided a helpful and seemingly balanced history of Dungeons and Dragons, prompting me to dig into some of the drama between B&D creators Arneson and Gygax. My biases include enjoying role-playing games and a preference for open-source over proprietary.

j
jimusser
Apr 11, 2014

This book starts out as an interesting history of the origins of Dungeons and Dragons, and I recommend the first half of the book for anyone not familiar with the subject. Unfortunately the second half of the book takes a turn for the worse as we hear the author's self-indulgent coming of age story mixed with promotion of the latest version of D&D.

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