One Of The Most Popular (and fun!) Board Games Ever Was Created In Lake Geneva
Dungeons and Dragons is pretty much the epitome of "If you know, you know."
And now you know that Dungeons and Dragons was invented in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
The fantasy role-playing game was created in Lake Geneva by Gary Gygax in the early to mid 1970s. Gygax was originally from Chicago before his parents moved him to Wisconsin after he started getting into fights with rival gangs on the northside of Chicago. They would eventually settle down in Lake Geneva and that's when Gygax discovered his love for games and fantasy fiction.
He eventually found other like minds and the group invented this live role playing fantasy game that they would play for hours. Gygax' wife even thought he was cheating on her. When she went to confront him in his friend's basement, she found them sitting around a table with the game sprawled out before him.
In 1973, Gygax and one other friend would invest $1,000 each to produce and distribute the first Dungeons and Dragons game and it's increased in popularity ever since.
It did take a little bit of heat in the 80s during the "Satanic Panic" but it seems like cooler heads have prevailed and the only stigma it fights these days is the dork stigma which it will probably shed over the next decade.
Three months ago I didn't know anything really about Dungeons and Dragons other than what was usually stereotypically shown on TV shows and other media. In other words, it was for dorks.
The first time I really saw it as something that would be cool to do was in the series finale of Freaks and Geeks, which if you have not seen, you should. It's a TV show about the outcasts of a 1980s high school. The freaks or the burnouts, bad crew and the geeks.
The geeks are playing Dungeons and Dragons throughout the series and it all comes together with the freaks and the geeks breaking bread over a game.
Then, another great show Community did a whole episode on a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Fun fact. You cannot find this episode on Netflix anymore because Ken Jeong dons "blackface" when he dresses up as an elf. It's very stupid. The pulling of the episode, not the episode itself.
Then when one of my friends said that he knew someone that was into Dungeons and Dragons and they wanted to start a beginner's game to get some new people into the game I knew I had to try.
I've only played two games. I'm currently a centaur named Jim that also is a stand-up comedian/substitute teacher when he's not questing. He's made several mistakes already that haven't all been appreciated by the clan, but he's getting better.
It's an absolute blast and I thank the late Gary Gygax for bringing it to the world.
Seriously, if you're interested in the game, ask around. It's literally one of the most welcoming communities I've come across and love it when people ask about it.
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