Dungeons & Dragons still inspires gamers after 40 years

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Last Updated: May 21, 2014

Before players were knights and orcs in Skyrim, Warcraft, and Diablo, gamers used paper and pencil 40 years ago as they embark on a quest for glory in the original role-playing game that started it all – Dungeons & Dragons. 

D&D was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. Players take the role of knights, clerics, magicians and fighters through an adventure run by the “Dungeon Master.”

Gamers used their imagination as they go through the game, unlike the rich 3-D environment of today’s video games.

However, after 40 years, D&D continues to evolve inspiring countless computer games, TV shows, films, novels and even music.

Wizards of the Coast D&D brand director Nathan Stewart said D&D is one of the leading influencer of today’s storytellers from various mediums. Wizards of the Coast is the publishing company of D&D. The game has made a significant impact in the geek culture, which brought fantasy to new heights, he said.

The game encourages creativity among the players as they socialize with their friends or families.

Webcomic Penny Arcade co-founder Jerry Holkins said he began to pay D&D as a child with his young aunts and uncles. Her mother was greatly disappointed that he was playing the game, because she believed that the game was associated to devil worship. Just like how conservatives would label “Harry Potter” as demon worship and witchcraft.

Bioshock creator Ken Levine overcame his immense shyness as he started to play D&D in a summer camp at a very young age. He said that the Dungeon Master when he first plaid the game is still his best friend now.

D&D set the standards for many Role-Playing games since it is widely known as the first modern RPG. It had over 3 million players by 1981 from all over the world. That number rose to 6 million by 2007. Now that number just continues to grow.

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