Two book recommendations for people who love the history of games...

And now back to the "blog"…..

Part of my new year's resolutions was to spend some time writing on this social site, trying to pry myself away from the usual 60-65 work weeks.
I'd thought I'd start with two strong book recommendations, books about ,the history of this hobby gaming that we pursue.

This first is David Ewalt's excellent Of Dice and Men. Yes, it is the story of D&D , its creation and its creators, but let us remember that back in the 70s those "rpg's" were very much a part of our hobby. We could find ourselves playing a Napoleonics miniatures wargame one weekend, AH's Midway the next, and a D&D game the following. The hobby was a lot more inclusive back then, the this story is well told by Ewalt, a journalist for Fortune Magazine. He really tells the story of Gygax, Arneson and TSR well. Warning: it does take historical miniature wargamers to task in a rather unfair manner…

The other book is a must-have for all "history of wargames" buffs…It is simply titled Wargames and Their History, by C. G. Lewin. This books covers wargamers up to the time of Charles Roberts and Avalon Hill. If I could think of two words to describe this book, they would be: "lavishly illustrated." If I had to think of three more words, they would be: "labor of love." This is all you need to know about this book. My recommendation is to rush out and secure a copy, if you don't already have one.

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Comment by Dave Smith on March 23, 2014 at 7:53pm

Thanks for the recommendation, Bruce; I'll order a copy tonight!

Comment by Bruce Geryk on March 20, 2014 at 4:38pm


Have you read Playing at the World by Jon Peterson?  It's a fantastic book that actually examines the primary sources rather than relying on gamers' memories.  Peterson spent a lot of time and effort acquiring old collections of fanzines and documents.  It discusses both the beginnings of wargaming and role-playing games.  Very much worth reading.

Comment by Dario Benedetti on March 19, 2014 at 9:21am

i'll follow your advice - just bought Of Dice and men - i'll let you know what i think. i remember tha played D&D in 1979 the week after i bought Mech War 77 (SPI) so i think i'll enjoy the book.

Comment by Wayne Rotella on March 10, 2014 at 5:25am

Hey Dave, thanks for the recommendations. I am keenly interested in the "craft" of war gaming and have wanted to read more about the hobby and its development.

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