Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Book Alert: Of Dice and Men

I was listening to NPR yesterday afternoon, and I heard someone do a short interview with a man named David Ewalt. It seems that Mr. Ewalt has written a book called Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It.
Now, I've been avoiding Playing at the World, a book that has had some buzz on the gaming blogosphere. Why? Well, I have a stupid habit of spurning what is "popular," and it's really dumb of me, I know. But also, another (most likely just as stupid) reason is that by all accounts Playing at the World is not just about RPGs. Wow, that sounded really dumb even as I typed that. Am I wrong? I probably am. Ok, now I want to read BOTH of these books. Damn, I can't believe how narrow-minded I can be sometimes.
Alright, now that I've thoroughly embarrassed myself, let's discuss my hopes for Mr. Ewalt's book. I hope that it does true, deep justice to the subject matter. I hope it doesn't stray into mean-spirited lampooning of the hobby, and if it does it's from the perspective/vantage of a gamer. If it is the latter, it will be a charmingly self-depricating prodding of RPG players and the hobby as a whole, in addition to having sections that treat the subject matter seriously.
In other words, I hope Mr. Ewalt is really a gamer, and not someone who merely flirted with the hobby at some point and wants to cash in on the "Let's make sublte fun of D&D and roleplayers" thing that never seems to go away. I hope Mr. Ewalt becomes another voice trumpeting the many virtues and values of roleplaying. Above all, I hope that he's written a book that will appeal to non-gamers and give them insight into why so many of us love roleplaying so much.
OK, I am definitely going to check this book out, and hold out hope this is going to have meaning for both gamers and non-gamers. Let me know if anyone else out there has heard about this, or if you already have a copy.


  1. Heard a snippet of this interview on NPR but missed most of it:

  2. I don't consider it "narrow minded" at all.

    For myself, I RPG hobby is Sword & Sorcery. Sorry, but the Star Wars/Star Trek games just DO NOT appeal to me. I play to ESCAPE from the Real World for just a little bit, and Space Adventures ARE the Real World. Ever hear of NASA?

    So for me, if its not a medieval Sword & Sorcery world, why bother? And, before you "speak," in my Greyhawk game there is NO crashed spaceship in the Barrier Peaks. No science in my games.

    I do not need to "try" SciFi games to be "urban." I'll leave that to others.

    So don't go considering yourself "narrow minded," such subject matters as you are discussing simply hold not interest for you. That's NOT being "narrow minded."