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According to the best guesstimate of respected game historian Jon Peterson, the official release date of Dungeons & Dragons (Original Edition) is Jan 26th, 1974. Read the research that led him to this conclusion here: Playing at the World: When Dungeons and Dragons turns 40. Many people across the internet, from players to GMs, to industry leaders and companies have agreed on this date and are sharing memories and wishing D&D a Happy Birthday.
Here is a run-down of some events and articles in which you may be interested:
Ethan Gilsdorf, of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks fame, has written an article for Salon.com entitled All I need to know about life I learned from Dungeons & Dragons. It is a fun romp that includes 14 things he learned playing the game. The list includes "Diversity Rocks!," "Collaboration is better than Competition," and the iconic "Never Split the Party."
In honor of the 40th Anniversary, Jon Peterson posted a short video about the history of D&D using 12 artifacts - have a look here: The History of D&D in 12 Treasures.
Wisconsin Public Radio has posted a short audio interview about the influence of D&D on Wisconsin (and vice-versa) - the guest is John Kovalic. Listen here: Influence and Wisconsin Origins of Dungeons & Dragons. Note that you have to press the blue 'listen' button in order to hear the audio file.
Gygax Magazine is hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Jon Peterson. Keep an eye out for that here: Gygax Mag Jon Peterson AMA. The AMA will take place at 4 pm EST (1pm PST), today, Jan 26th, 2014, and the linked page will re-direct to the AMA once it begins.
New York Magazine has posted a tribute to D&D to honor the 40th anniversary of the release of the game: D&D Anniversary at NY Mag. The article includes lists of fan-favorite monsters, famous celebrities who play(ed) D&D, and a short vocabulary lesson, among other D&D pop-culture tidbits.
The creators of The Community television show are producing another episode that features D&D. Apparently the main characters playSpokesperson for The Community wrote:...the second most important game of Dungeons & Dragons ever.That should be interesting.
The Guardian has posted a happy birthday wish - Happy Birthday D&D. This article, more than most others, puts a focus on the fact that D&D is, at its heart, a social experience:The Guardian's Mary Hamilton wrote:The core of tabletop games is always the other players. In the wake of D&D’s popularity, games have been designed to tell simple or complicated stories, with different emphases on setting, chance, improvisation or achievement. But every system is only as good or as bad as the people you play with. At its core, like every social hobby, it’s all about people.
USA Today even mentions the 40th anniversary of the release in this article: D&D Anniversary & News, which gives a very brief overview of the initial meeting of the minds between Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. A great quote in the article, by Jon Peterson, mentions the influence of D&D on modern computer gaming:USA Today, Jon Peterson wrote:"D&D taught us how to be a character in a game and to make choices for them," says Peterson. "They inform virtually all the video games that we play today."
Popular D&D site ENWorld has a nice tribute thread posted to their news module, which you can see here: Happy 40th Anniversary D&D. There are nearly 5 pages with anecdotes about the first D&D game played by people posting on the site.
Even other companies are getting in on the celebration! Pelgrane Press is temporarily reducing the price of the 13th Age pdf in honor of D&D's anniversary - the pdf is 40% off! Here is a link to the announcement: 13th Age PDF now 40% off - This is fitting since the lead designers of 13th Age, Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo, were also designers on Dungeons & Dragons (3rd Edition) and
Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition), respectively.
A new post on the Wizards of the Coast page has comments by D&D icons Troy Denning and Ed Greenwood. Here's a link:
Greenwood and Denning comments on D&D and the Wizards of the Coast team asks for your videos of personal D&D stories! Head over that page to post them.
Kobold Press now has a D&D Tribute page up, featuring D&D memories from David "Zeb" Cook, Bruce R. Cordell, Jeff Grubb, Colin McComb, Wade Rockett, Robert J. Schwalb, and Margaret Weis. Here is a link to the mini interviews: D&D’s 40th Anniversary: Words to Celebrate, Part One - the title suggests a part 2 is forthcoming, so I will post that when it goes live.
Prolific contributor to many editions, boardgame designer, and BGG/RPGG user, Mike Selinker, has written a personal Love Letter to D&D - it's worth a read.
And last, but not least...
RPGG members are paying tribute to D&D throughout the week by writing and submitting reviews of iconic/important D&D products. Here are a few of the reviews already posted:
The Short Version? This book breathed new life into AD&D 2nd Edition at a time when I really needed it. (sdonohue reviews Player's Option: Skills & Powers)
The Short Version? The least useful of the Player's Options books provides rules for grids, critical hits, and sieges. (sdonohue reviews Player's Option: Combat & Tactics)
OD&D. A game of imagination and wonder. (bryce0lynch reviews a new adventure - with some great commentary on what made OD&D sing)
A paean to the glory of D&D (vestige reviews Of Dice and Men)
And look for more throughout the week!
You can find all of the tribute reviews by searching for the tag happy_40th_birthday_d&d. For your convenience, here's a link happy_40th_birthday_d&d
And today's Question of the Day is: QOTD Jan 26: What, if anything, does the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons mean to you? Head on over to that thread and tell us how D&D impacted you!
A team of hard-hitting investigative reporters brings you the news when it happens, as it happens at the time it happens. Or maybe a little later.
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