Jon Peterson's Game Wizards - The Epic Battle for D&D

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Voros

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Jon Peterson is sure to piss off many a self-declared internet expert on the hobby's history with this one me thinks.

Will be interesting to see the more rabid Gygax and Arneson partisans weeping and gnashing their teeth as several sacred cows are slaughtered.

I am such a huge nerd as this excites me to no end. Game history is endlessly fascinating to me.

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The story of the arcane table-top game that became a pop culture phenomenon and the long-running legal battle waged by its cocreators.

When Dungeons & Dragons was first released to a small hobby community, it hardly seemed destined for mainstream success—and yet this arcane tabletop role-playing game became an unlikely pop culture phenomenon. In Game Wizards, Jon Peterson chronicles the rise of Dungeons & Dragons from hobbyist pastime to mass market sensation, from the initial collaboration to the later feud of its creators, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. As the game's fiftieth anniversary approaches, Peterson—a noted authority on role-playing games—explains how D&D and its creators navigated their successes, setbacks, and controversies.

Peterson describes Gygax and Arneson's first meeting and their work toward the 1974 release of the game; the founding of TSR and its growth as a company; and Arneson's acrimonious departure and subsequent challenges to TSR. He recounts the “Satanic Panic” accusations that D&D was sacrilegious and dangerous, and how they made the game famous. And he chronicles TSR's reckless expansion and near-fatal corporate infighting, which culminated with the company in debt and overextended and the end of Gygax's losing battle to retain control over TSR and D&D.

With Game Wizards, Peterson restores historical particulars long obscured by competing narratives spun by the one-time partners. That record amply demonstrates how the turbulent experience of creating something as momentous as Dungeons & Dragons can make people remember things a bit differently from the way they actually happened.
 

xanther

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Yes but will Leonard Patt be included...the Father of the Fireball...and from whence several rules for Chainmail were cribbed.
 

TristramEvans

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Yes but will Leonard Patt be included...the Father of the Fireball...and from whence several rules for Chainmail were cribbed.


Probably was in Playing at the World instead.

The new book appears to be more industry-focused, which is of far less interest to me than the development of rules and playstyles. Everybody looks horrible once money gets involved.
 

Voros

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Yes but will Leonard Patt be included...the Father of the Fireball...and from whence several rules for Chainmail were cribbed.

It was Peterson who discovered him wasn't it? I assume he'll be integrating the info he's revealed on his blog and Medium into the book.
 

Voros

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Probably was in Playing at the World instead.

The new book appears to be more industry-focused, which is of far less interest to me than the development of rules and playstyles. Everybody looks horrible once money gets involved.

I suspect he'll cover both, he said his next book was going to focus more on the story after OD&D was released up til Gygax was removed from the company.
 

xanther

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Am I the only one a little creeped out by how they both seemingly have the same hairdo and glasses frames? Is that, like, the official geek-historian uniform?
Yes...time to get with the program. I always find it odd when the "historian" is talking about things that I was very much alive for and of age for, yet they were not. Any idea how much pavement pounding is really done? I find Jon's stuff interesting but not really in depth or rigorous. Fun pop history, gathers things in one place, but not a lot of original research or extensive research.

For example, how many documents does he uncover, find or discover from the period? How extensive is his research and interviews of those who played at the time? I've heard him talk about his expereince and maybe a handful of others but ever a systematic effort to map the views of the time across regions and ages?

Not that he needs to do any of this, it is after all just one guys fascination, but it comes no where near being scholarly or a fullpicture. Now this book about the battle between Gygax and Arneson, that's pretty focused. Would be interesting to know if he was able to lift the veil on the settlement, now that would be a worthy achievement.

All that being said, I'm still likely to read it :smile:
 

T. Foster

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Peterson doesn't conduct interviews (or give credence to interviews or post-hoc testimonials done by others) because he feels people distort things after the fact and that contemporary written records are always going to be closer to the "real" truth. That's a problematic methodological stance since it means anything that wasn't written down at the time isn't considered (and anything that was written down falsely or incompletely is given undue weight) so you always have to affix a big asterisk to everything he says. That said, he has good relationships with the collector community so he has access to a lot of written records that are not available to the general public - unpublished manuscripts, pre-publication drafts, personal correspondence, internal corporate communications (e.g. minutes of board meetings), ultra-low circulation newsletters, legal filings, etc. - so he doesn't just present a whitewashed/sanitized "official" view of everything. But there are absolutely people who were there at the time who strongly dispute his descriptions and the conclusions he draws from them, and it is kind of weird how instead of recording their view but noting that it's in conflict with other (contemporary written) accounts he just ignores them completely.

We'll see if he continues that trend in his new book (which I of course have pre-ordered) or if he does broaden/modifiy his methodology a bit to reflect that criticism. At least in his hype-building blog posts he has been more open in acknowledging that the narrative he is presenting is at odds with Gary Gygax's after-the-fact accounts, which is a step up from where he was before (where he didn't acknowledge after-the-fact recollections at all). He still seems to always frame it in terms of "Gygax's account disagrees with the contemporary written record so Gygax's account therefore must be wrong" but at least he's now acknowledging that the dispute exists.
 

Voros

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Yes...time to get with the program. I always find it odd when the "historian" is talking about things that I was very much alive for and of age for, yet they were not. Any idea how much pavement pounding is really done? I find Jon's stuff interesting but not really in depth or rigorous. Fun pop history, gathers things in one place, but not a lot of original research or extensive research.

For example, how many documents does he uncover, find or discover from the period? How extensive is his research and interviews of those who played at the time? I've heard him talk about his expereince and maybe a handful of others but ever a systematic effort to map the views of the time across regions and ages?

Not that he needs to do any of this, it is after all just one guys fascination, but it comes no where near being scholarly or a fullpicture. Now this book about the battle between Gygax and Arneson, that's pretty focused. Would be interesting to know if he was able to lift the veil on the settlement, now that would be a worthy achievement.

All that being said, I'm still likely to read it :smile:

Playing at the World is all original and extensive research. Ditto The Elusive Shift, which is an extensive history of early rpg discourse in the APAs.

As T. Foster says he doesn't take verbal recollections as fact, no historian does actually, which considering the rampant rumour-mongering and outright fabrications that have largely composed rpg 'history' up to this point I consider a refreshing tonic.

DeWalt and Laforge have done more conventional interview-based histories with reasonable journalistic rigour if one is interested in that although much of those verbal recollections have been refuted by Peterson's subsequent research.
 

xanther

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Peterson doesn't conduct interviews (or give credence to interviews or post-hoc testimonials done by others) because he feels people distort things after the fact and that contemporary written records are always going to be closer to the "real" truth. That's a problematic methodological stance since it means anything that wasn't written down at the time isn't considered (and anything that was written down falsely or incompletely is given undue weight) so you always have to affix a big asterisk to everything he says. ...
Indeed, when I think of interviews was thinking more of an interview heard of him long ago, and then reading his book, about what it was like to play back in the 70s and 80s...not that what he said was off or wrong and certainly part of it (even by my direct experience) existed but it was presented as much more general and this is the way it was for almost everyone....which is just not right. When trying to ascertain what it was like in the day, peoples recollections (however colored) as not anymore unreliable as his and you have nothing else really. The key is just do hundreds of interviews to get a picture, statistics are your friend, and minimize the reasons people would have to lie...I can't see much reason for people to lie when asked about how you played back in the day etc.

Now when it comes to questions of authorship and creation and copyright...heck yah people have huge motives to "misremember." Also if they ever said one thing in litigation (under the pains and penalties or perjury) they are pretty much stuck with it...and the best thing to do if you need to make sure you never contradict an official story is to not talk about it...especially if your official story "shaded" things...oh the tangled web.

...But there are absolutely people who were there at the time who strongly dispute his descriptions and the conclusions he draws from them, and it is kind of weird how instead of recording their view but noting that it's in conflict with other (contemporary written) accounts he just ignores them completely.
It's the ignoring them completely that is the problem...and he doesn't even need to do so....another story or view could make it even more compelling.

...At least in his hype-building blog posts he has been more open in acknowledging that the narrative he is presenting is at odds with Gary Gygax's after-the-fact accounts, which is a step up from where he was before (where he didn't acknowledge after-the-fact recollections at all). He still seems to always frame it in terms of "Gygax's account disagrees with the contemporary written record so Gygax's account therefore must be wrong" but at least he's now acknowledging that the dispute exists.

I would not be concerned at all with his narrative conflicting with Mr. Gygax's, frankly I don't consider any self reporting from Mr. Gygax on things that could possible touch on his ego, wallet or past litigation to be objective or accurate. That is not unusual. Let his work speak for itself and stand as evidence for his abilities either way.
 

Lychee of the Exchequer

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Indeed, when I think of interviews was thinking more of an interview heard of him long ago, and then reading his book, about what it was like to play back in the 70s and 80s...not that what he said was off or wrong and certainly part of it (even by my direct experience) existed but it was presented as much more general and this is the way it was for almost everyone....which is just not right.
When trying to ascertain what it was like in the day, peoples recollections (however colored) as not anymore unreliable as his and you have nothing else really. [...]

It's the ignoring them completely that is the problem...and he doesn't even need to do so....another story or view could make it even more compelling.
Tell me about it !

I was an history student, and I never bought the idea that people's recollections were more unreliable than written evidences of days past.

It's obvious to me that you need to collect data from everywhere you can to have an interesting perspective of past events.

The fetishization of written documents is an artefact of bookish academe. I have nothing against academic types, of course, but I'm aware of their limitations (I don't know if Peterson is an academic, though).

The reason I particularly appreciate archaeologists History-wise, is because they like books and digging in the dirt with their hands, which tend to give them a more rounded-up experience of human lives across times - whose study is after all the subject matter of historical science.

I remember reading this book about french medieval village feasts where the author pondered the generosity of the rich farmers of the community. He had been able to establish that the rich farmers had a cow slaughtered and cooked for the community - something like 60-70 persons -, and that, after the main banquet, the leftovers were offered to the poor outside the community (60 people, maybe).

The author then concluded that the rich farmers "weren't very generous" to the poor. A little stingy, those Christian farmers.

Except everyone who's cooked a sheep (an entire sheep) over a barbecue knows that 60 people can stuff themselves on it. So, if you roast a cow and then partitions it beetween 120 people, everyone can gorge themselves on it till they drop from overeating (Party time, baby ! Eat till you choke : maybe we'll starve next week - that's the Middle Ages for you, darlings !).

Nothing beats living a (good) little bit to understand other peoples' lives.
 

CRKrueger

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Playing at the World is all original and extensive research. Ditto The Elusive Shift, which is an extensive history of early rpg discourse in the APAs.

As T. Foster says he doesn't take verbal recollections as fact, no historian does actually, which considering the rampant rumour-mongering and outright fabrications that have largely composed rpg 'history' up to this point I consider a refreshing tonic.

DeWalt and Laforge have done more conventional interview-based histories with reasonable journalistic rigour if one is interested in that although much of those verbal recollections have been refuted by Peterson's subsequent research.
Yeah, historians completely ignored all the testimonials of WWII veterans. Never interviewed a single one.

Most historians don’t have anyone to interview. Saying that historians who have live people to interview never rely on statements from people who were actually there is simply incorrect.
 

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What I have noticed is that Jon has always had access to documents which I could never afford to read, which makes me quite jealous, but he does have the access and shares content as best as possible. His books always seem highly researched, even if much of the stuff is from private collections and isn't reproduced. It would be fun to have a publication which was just a book of reproductions of the source files, but I know that Jon can't get permission to do that.
 

JRT

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I find Jon's stuff interesting but not really in depth or rigorous. Fun pop history, gathers things in one place, but not a lot of original research or extensive research.

For example, how many documents does he uncover, find or discover from the period? How extensive is his research and interviews of those who played at the time? I've heard him talk about his expereince and maybe a handful of others but ever a systematic effort to map the views of the time across regions and ages?

Not that he needs to do any of this, it is after all just one guys fascination, but it comes no where near being scholarly or a fullpicture.
Exactly what work are you comparing Peterson's work to in terms of history? It seems like he's at least providing a lot of written documents and stuff I don't think people have seen before? I can understand objecting to him deciding to leave out oral testimonies or interviews, but I think his work is a lot more researched than anybody else covering the world of RPGs? What standard is being compared?

It's the ignoring them completely that is the problem...and he doesn't even need to do so....another story or view could make it even more compelling.
True, but if he's up front about his methods, it shouldn't be a problem. I don't think he himself was defining he had the perfect history. Nobody does.

Part of the problem with doing a history of RPGs that is accurate and unbiased are the following factors:

It's a niche hobby to begin with, so there's less people interested in it per se, thus less work.

Those who cover it may be gamers or players themselves. This particular sentiment can bias the individual doing the research. Sometimes the best biographies or histories are done by people who are outside the hobby or industry being covered. Sometimes this can result in some lack of understanding of the material, but they make up for it by being objective emotionally and not writing a hagiography or a hit piece.

If oral histories are biased, the best way is to get a lot of them and get those perspectives. I appreciate those types of books such as the one with the History of SNL or the book about Creative Artists Agency, where you can see the different perspectives and the conflicts. They even did something like that for the GenCon history book.

But in many cases, I don't think there's enough recorded opinions about things from the other viewpoints. For instance, Gary Gygax gave a lot of interviews and chatted with a lot of folks online. But how many interviews or public statements were ever made by the people he disagreed with? How many times did we get rebuttals from either of the Blumes or Lorraine Williams. There might not be a balance of oral history in the RPG would when it comes to these types of things.

I'm not really sure why people are irritated so much about Peterson's take -- it's not like his is the only take. He's apparently trying to take a skeptics view and thus try an alternate perspective. It does bring some new insights into things even some of the folks who are still alive might not remember.
 

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Most of human history (even the last 6,000 years) has not been recorded or written down. Anyone who’s flirted with genealogy might know the frustration of finding out seemingly important details, especially when relatives that might know something have passed on. I like a mix of interviews with my documents and videos when reading about events in the past. Gives a fuller picture and a better insight into the subjects being discussed.
 

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If oral histories are biased, the best way is to get a lot of them and get those perspectives.
One of the most annoying things about Designers and Dungeons is that Appelcline talked to lots of people and but rarely cites his sources. It's been a long time since I read it, but I remember the phrase "depending on who you believe" and variations on it being use repeatedly. That would be fine, but he as he never gives sources it's hard to decide who to believe when you don't know who said what.
 

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One of the most annoying things about Designers and Dungeons is that Appelcline talked to lots of people and but rarely cites his sources. It's been a long time since I read it, but I remember the phrase "depending on who you believe" and variations on it being use repeatedly. That would be fine, but he as he never gives sources it's hard to decide who to believe when you don't know who said what.
Yeah but he does as I recall explicitly state he's not trying to answer those questions. He is giving info on various company histories and trying to show arcs of the industry. Not trying to be an authoritative history.
 

Baulderstone

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Yeah but he does as I recall explicitly state he's not trying to answer those questions. He is giving info on various company histories and trying to show arcs of the industry. Not trying to be an authoritative history.
I know, and I found it an entertaining read it despite it's issues. I'm okay with the book not being an academic work. It just annoyed me when he would say "Depending on who you believe, fact A or fact B is true" without telling me who said A and who said B. I'm not asking for detailed footnotes. Just put the names in their. Something like "According to Perry Milton, the Coruscating Impaler was created for module UJ-5 The City Beyond the Mordant Horizon, but Heywood Jablomie says that it showed up in a game at Gary's table in 1975. "
 

Voros

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I know, and I found it an entertaining read it despite it's issues. I'm okay with the book not being an academic work. It just annoyed me when he would say "Depending on who you believe, fact A or fact B is true" without telling me who said A and who said B. I'm not asking for detailed footnotes. Just put the names in their. Something like "According to Perry Milton, the Coruscating Impaler was created for module UJ-5 The City Beyond the Mordant Horizon, but Heywood Jablomie says that it showed up in a game at Gary's table in 1975. "

There's also a lot of unsourced statements in those books that are just factually incorrect.

I see it most around D&D but I'm sure that is true of the other companies he discusses.

In history and journalism the standard is that if someone makes a statement that needs to be backed-up, you first look for documents to back-it-up, as Peterson uses financial statements to disprove a lot of Gygax's claims about the business of TSR; if you can't do that you need at least one more relatively unbiased person, preferably more, to confirm it. Course that isn't always possible, so you can either exclude it or state the conflicting sources and say 'make up your mind.'

Maybe verbal histories don't need to meet that standard I guess some would say but personally I think particularly when it comes to rpgs we've had our fair share of fannish pseudo-histories and myth-making at this point.
 

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There's also a lot of unsourced statements in those books that are just factually incorrect.

I see it most around D&D but I'm sure that is true of the other companies he discusses.

In history and journalism the standard is that if someone makes a statement that needs to be backed-up, you first look for documents to back-it-up, as Peterson uses financial statements to disprove a lot of Gygax's claims about the business of TSR; if you can't do that you need at least one more relatively unbiased person, preferably more, to confirm it. Course that isn't always possible, so you can either exclude it or state the conflicting sources and say 'make up your mind.'

Maybe verbal histories don't need to meet that standard I guess some would say but personally I think particularly when it comes to rpgs we've had our fair share of fannish pseudo-histories and myth-making at this point.
What's some of the factually incorrect stuff?
 

Voros

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What's some of the factually incorrect stuff?

I'd have to go back and look but as I recall mainly unchallenged statements about the state of TSR both during and after Gygax, Arneson, etc.
 
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"According to Perry Milton, the Coruscating Impaler was created for module UJ-5 The City Beyond the Mordant Horizon, but Heywood Jablomie says that it showed up in a game at Gary's table in 1975. "
I protest !

God's will created me so I could smite the Heretics* with righteous mind and Wrath !

Who is this Perry Milton to dare anger me and my thirsty blade Fleischfressendeseele ?

I know no "Mordant Horizon" and those who would accuse me of having sacked and burned it are unclean heathens !

...I think...

It's not always easy for a God-fearing man to remember all the cities he could have ravished during his fighting heydays, you know ?

UJ-5 ? Gary's table ? Has it something to do with this round knightly implement which is all the rage in the western countries ?

Hrrmmm... I would have it known that I have no quarrel with this Carolus Magnus fellow one hears about nowadays.
We are all God's fearing men, you know... Our temper sometimes gets the better of us... Let's not be too hasty and rather let us remember God's mercy.

It is decided, then : No blood feud ! I say peace ! to thee, Baulderstone, most gallant knight ! Let no ill will persists between us. And let me reassure you, friend, that I had nothing to to do with this Mordant Horizon ransacking to the ground business**.

Peace !

*definition pending
 

robertsconley

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Peterson doesn't conduct interviews (or give credence to interviews or post-hoc testimonials done by others) because he feels people distort things after the fact and that contemporary written records are always going to be closer to the "real" truth. That's a problematic methodological stance since it means anything that wasn't written down at the time isn't considered (and anything that was written down falsely or incompletely is given undue weight) so you always have to affix a big asterisk to everything he says.
This may be true in a general sense but in the specific case of D&D the written evidence contradict the statements given by Gygax and others. That what lead Peterson done that path in the first place. If I have a mass of documents from the early 70s and Blackmoor isn't mentioned until after such and such a date, and Greyhawk isn't mentioned after such and such data. Are you seriously proposing we should rely more on accounts given years or decades later over primary sources written during or soon after the events in question?

I do think after the fact accounts have a place but when it comes what happened and when primary sources have primacy. When Playing at the World came out I also read Hawk and Moor. Playing at the World was informative as to the documented facts, but Hawk and Moor was more informative about the people and their attitudes because of its use on verbal accounts.

Elusive Shift was also more interesting from a people approach not because the source material Jon relied on. The APAs and other articles he drew from had more of people's personalities than the sources he relied on for Playing at the World. So made Elusive Shift more interesting for me than PatW.
 

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As an example of how ambiguous memory is. I know how I first heard of D&D and but I am not sure it was the summer of 1977 or the summer of 1978). I know what happened when I first played but I don't remember exactly when (It was a session using the Porttown Dungeon from the Holmes Box Set and I died). I know I wargamed a lot prior to playing tabletop roleplaying. But the first firm dates I have are a bunch of dated character sheet from 1979 and the fact I bought I AD&D DMG the moment it came out.

It wasn't until a decade ago I was able to firm up my own experience because I was able to use Acaeum to firm dates based on when things were released. For example the one and only time I got D&D stuff for Christmas was December of 1979 because I got S2 White Plume and T1 Village of Hommlet. It couldn't be later as by 1980 I was dating character sheets and other stuff which included notes on the Judges Guild and TSR I was starting to buy.

But I doubt I will ever remember how I got the Holmes Boxed Set or when I got my first wargame.
 

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As an example of how ambiguous memory is. I know how I first heard of D&D and but I am not sure it was the summer of 1977 or the summer of 1978). I know what happened when I first played but I don't remember exactly when (It was a session using the Porttown Dungeon from the Holmes Box Set and I died). I know I wargamed a lot prior to playing tabletop roleplaying. But the first firm dates I have are a bunch of dated character sheet from 1979 and the fact I bought I AD&D DMG the moment it came out.

It wasn't until a decade ago I was able to firm up my own experience because I was able to use Acaeum to firm dates based on when things were released. For example the one and only time I got D&D stuff for Christmas was December of 1979 because I got S2 White Plume and T1 Village of Hommlet. It couldn't be later as by 1980 I was dating character sheets and other stuff which included notes on the Judges Guild and TSR I was starting to buy.

But I doubt I will ever remember how I got the Holmes Boxed Set or when I got my first wargame.
I'm very skeptical of my own memory. In high school, I had to keep a daily journal for a writing class, and I enjoyed it enough to keep doing it after the project ended. When I began going through it a year later, I was startled to find lots of discrepancies between what I remembered and what I wrote at the time. I can think of plenty of other cases. I have "memories" of watching movies in houses that I moved out of before the movie was released.
 

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My best friend and I have always had a different memory of how we met. Memory is nice but not perfect by any means.

I can't recall my first encounter with D&D because it's probably one of my earlier memories around 4-5 years old. I know someone had the white box contents. I recall the Holmes boxed set as my first full encounter with D&D.
 

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I'm not really thinking about stuff like specific dates - if person A claims something happened in November 1972 and person B claims it happened in the winter of 72-73 and there's a document that establishes that it happened in February 1973 there's no need to document the dispute and lend equal credence to all accounts. Same with stuff like when various employee purges took place, or exactly how much TSR's net profit/loss was in any given year, and so on.

But when Gary Gygax claimed that starting in 1980 he was boxed out of management decisions by the Blumes and even though he still held the title of President was effectively a powerless figurehead because all important decisions were made by "the board" where he was inevitably outvoted 2:1 and Peterson dismisses that because the board minutes and internal TSR staff newsletter don't include any reference to it and therefore reports that Gygax was still in charge and the primary decision maker through at least 1982, that seems like something worth mentioning. Yes, Gary's version is self-serving because it gets him off the hook for all the bad business decisions TSR made in 1981-82 (decisions that he publicly supported and cheer-led in Dragon magazine editorials - the acquisitions of SPI and the Springfield Needlewomen, the feuds with GaMA and Origins, the massive hiring sprees, the decisions to start manufacturing dice and miniatures in-house, the relentless and fruitless pursuit of a movie deal, etc.), but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a lie. There are plenty of reasons why board minutes wouldn't record informal private conversations between the board members, and even more reasons why an internal staff newsletter (and public-facing magazine editorials) wouldn't report on turmoil in the C-suite. We'll never know what really happened in that room because two of the principals are dead and the third (Kevin Blume) doesn't seem to have any interest in talking about it, but to me the responsible approach is to acknowledge that there are different versions rather than choosing one as The Truth and ignoring the other, which is what Peterson has done in the past (the Ambush at Sheridan Springs article) but I hope isn't also doing in this book.
 

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I'm not really thinking about stuff like specific dates - if person A claims something happened in November 1972 and person B claims it happened in the winter of 72-73 and there's a document that establishes that it happened in February 1973 there's no need to document the dispute and lend equal credence to all accounts. Same with stuff like when various employee purges took place, or exactly how much TSR's net profit/loss was in any given year, and so on.

But when Gary Gygax claimed that starting in 1980 he was boxed out of management decisions by the Blumes and even though he still held the title of President was effectively a powerless figurehead because all important decisions were made by "the board" where he was inevitably outvoted 2:1 and Peterson dismisses that because the board minutes and internal TSR staff newsletter don't include any reference to it and therefore reports that Gygax was still in charge and the primary decision maker through at least 1982, that seems like something worth mentioning. Yes, Gary's version is self-serving because it gets him off the hook for all the bad business decisions TSR made in 1981-82 (decisions that he publicly supported and cheer-led in Dragon magazine editorials - the acquisitions of SPI and the Springfield Needlewomen, the feuds with GaMA and Origins, the massive hiring sprees, the decisions to start manufacturing dice and miniatures in-house, the relentless and fruitless pursuit of a movie deal, etc.), but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a lie. There are plenty of reasons why board minutes wouldn't record informal private conversations between the board members, and even more reasons why an internal staff newsletter (and public-facing magazine editorials) wouldn't report on turmoil in the C-suite. We'll never know what really happened in that room because two of the principals are dead and the third (Kevin Blume) doesn't seem to have any interest in talking about it, but to me the responsible approach is to acknowledge that there are different versions rather than choosing one as The Truth and ignoring the other, which is what Peterson has done in the past (the Ambush at Sheridan Springs article) but I hope isn't also doing in this book.
Yeah that seems odd. I would never expect a C level person to air dirty laundry to the masses. Even something they disagree with will be spun as a good just to keep the train rolling. That seems like a real error to not at least mention even if you surround it in caveats.
 

JRT

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There's been a few new articles released, one on his blog, one on Polygon with some items covered in the book.



The book was released today, I just got it on Kindle, time to go reading.
 
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