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Subject: Has anyone read "Playing at The World"? rss

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Todd Michael Rogers
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http://www.amazon.com/Playing-at-World-Jon-Peterson/dp/06156...

It's a (really, no really)thick book detailing the (very, no very) detailed history of the beginnings of Role-Playing.

The author researched wargaming fanzines of the 60's and built a 600+ pg book about how this lead into Gygax & Arneson, and the idea of an RPG

and that's just the first 100 pages. The entire middle of the book is dedicated to why most RPG's are geared toward fantasy..and why we call it fantasy...and where certain tropes and names come from. (why so many goblins?) Then the book jukes back into a final 200 page assessment of what happened AFTER Gygax published Dungeons & Dragons.

I always wondered how it caught on and what the specific points of that history looked like. You couldn't get more detailed then this author. He has specific names of persons and hobby groups who help spread Dungeons & Dragons from Lake Geneva to Los Angeles.

A must read for any game enthusiast, and an absolute bible for any game designer. The book is life changing.

(you can read quite a bit on the link i provided above)

-mE.
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Nate K
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Neat.
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Brandon Holmes
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I am slowly making my way through this but I find it fascinating and can give it full marks, five out of five stars. I was initially reluctant to order it because of the price but the glowing reviews convinced me. If you have any interest in this I say take a chance, I am very glad I did.
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Matt
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I've read it too! It was a great book, although very very dry at times, so it took me a little while, but it's definitely worth a read.
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David Abe
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Sounds interesting. I've been meaning to read this one for academic reasons: Simulating War: Studying Conflict through Simulation Games and your book always shows up on the related/bought together links. Kinda pricey to arrive at my country, but I think I'll give it a go
 
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Clinton Coddington
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Something I would definitely like to read, does seem a little pricey for a paperback though.
 
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Jon Peterson
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For those interested in board and miniature wargaming, the middle part of Playing at the World also sports a 100+ page section on the invention of the principles of combat simulation: from the extrapolation of chess into the board wargames of 18th century Germany, to the modeling of terrain as maps, to the introduction of referees, to dice and CRTs, up through Wells and the hobbyists who ran the first gaming zines in the 1950s. That material is based on access to the original games, many of them never translated into English, and PatW can thus answer many fundamental questions of who first did what, and when, that past histories have not addressed.

I wouldn't say the book is really comparable to a work like Sabin's, which focuses more on how to design and stage wargames for an educational context. PatW is a straight-up history book, though naturally key advances in wargame design are covered as essential to understanding that history. All of that ultimately serves to show how these games went beyond simulating armies, into individual people, then beyond just combat, and finally how all of this moved onto computers.

While US$30 may be pricey for a typical paperback, PatW weighs in at over 400k words, and there are related books a quarter or less of that size that sell for more money. The electronic version is considerably cheaper, too.
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Todd Michael Rogers
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Oh hello, Author of BOOK!

Thanks for all the hard work, it's exactly The Thing I've been looking for.
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William Ford
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There is a review of Playing at the World in the Spring 2013 American Journal of Play:

http://www.journalofplay.org/issues/5/3

-Bill
 
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Shannon Ferguson
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I've bought the epub version, and I can't put it down. I am not a wargamer, but a D&Der, and I am finding the history behind wargaming very interesting. Thank you!
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