Thursday, 8 September 2016

Some Factual Reading On The Subject Of Fantasy

I devour audio books (and print books when I am not working) at a ludicrous rate.

This week alone I have listened to 3 unabridged titles including 'The Hoffa Wars' which covers the rise and demise of the leader of the Teamster's Union, 'The North' by Paul Morley and most fulfilling of the lot 'Empire Of Imagination' by Michael Witwer.

Witwer has produced a warts and all biography of the life and times of E. Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, and arguably the most famous gaming personality to date.

Starting with the early years wherein Gary was living inn Chicago, the tale progresses through his teenage years (explaining why he had a chauffeur in later years) and his obsession with games, to his marriage at 19 and thence to the creation of TSR and beyond with all the visceral back stabbing, 'Satanic Panic' and corporate and Machiavellianism which, marked the mid to late 80s  gaming industry and led to the inevitable death of what could reasonably be termed the most influential company in the history of roleplaying, and several other 'Old Guard' companies. 

I was unsure whether a book of this type could be more than a 'fanboy' homage, but I have to say, it really delivered the goods for me. After the chapter covering the terminal days of E.G.G, there's something of an industry round up, demonstrating just how influential and singular He and his company were. 

You will probably have to conclude that without the Lake GenevaTouch, we would probably not have the hobby which we enjoy today.

This is a 'must buy' for anyone who, like me, is interested in the history and politics of gaming.

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