Gary Gygax, co-inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, published this note explaining why Christians (like him) shouldn't celebrate Christmas.
A note from Gary Gygax in the IFW Monthly of February 1969. A topical historical curiosity, yes, but what does it tell us about who Gary was back then? First of all, he strongly self-identified as a Christian, an important counterpoint to the fundamentalist backlash against his later fantasy-themed games. Gary approached Christianity as a system with rules, which he researched and explored through a strict historical lens. If his readings differed from mainstream conventions, he was never one to bow to popular opinion. Sometimes he took things too seriously, sacrificing fun for accuracy. He was never shy about sharing his ideas and defending his position in public, but respectfully acknowledges the existence of dissenting views. These are all qualities we see reflected in his subsequent career as a game designer.
Gary Gygax on Christmas and Christianity [Jon Peterson/Playing at the World]
I thought Grimm Wisdom's "5 reasons to play D&D" was a great list -- and it made me want to get my 4-y-o out of bed and have a go at the stripped-down version we play with random toys, polyhedral dice, and miniatures. But I blogged it instead -- here's the first three, I'm gonna get the kid up:
1. Dungeons and Dragons is about imagination. It is sitting at a table, with some books, paper and pencil (or their electronic equivalent, PDFs and spreadsheets), and using the power of your mind to throw yourself into a fantasy world. Everything that your characters do is something you decided for them to do. This is no video game designer laying out choices for you. In my 20-plus years of gaming, our characters have started wars, ended wars, rescued people, killed monsters, started towns, started criminal organizations, thrown parades, stopped parades, bought bars, built temples, in addition to countless other things.
2. Dungeons and Dragons is structure. No creative endeavor, be it art, music, writing or performance, can exist without a framework of r
ules and boundaries. Our English language is built on 26 letters and our music 12 notes. It is the creative person’s mission to build something in the context of that structure that is worthwhile and maybe even entertaining.
3. Dungeons and Dragons is social. You can’t play this game alone. It requires at least two people, and typically four to eight. Interacting with other people, especially face-to-face, is important. It just is.
5 reasons to play D&D
(via Wil Wheaton)