Playing at the World - Updated Two Volume edition coming from MIT Press

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Doomed Investigator
Sep 23, 2017
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Occasionally I look to see what's coming up from MIT Press in their game design and history series and I just spotted that Jon Peterson's Playing at the World will be getting an updated, two volume release.

Peterson has said that the reason the first, excellent book didn't get released by an academic press as one would have expected was due to its extreme length so it's good to see the prestigious MIT Press stepping up.


My copy of Playing at the World was digital only as I didn't know if it would be well written or not but now that I know how good a job Peterson does I'll be investing in hardcopies.

The first volume of two in a new, updated edition of the 2012 book Playing at the World, which charts the vast and complex history of role-playing games.

This new edition of Playing at the World is the first of two volumes that update the 720-page original tome of the same name from 2012. This first volume is The Invention of Dungeons & Dragons, which explores the publication of that iconic game. (The second volume is The Three Pillars of Role-Playing Games, a deeper dive into the history of the setting, system, and character of D & D.) In this first volume, Jon Peterson distills the story of how the wargaming clubs and fanzines circulating around the upper Midwest in the 1970s culminated in Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's seminal role-playing game, D & D. It augments the research of the original editions with new insights into the crucial period in 1972–3 when D & D began to take shape.

Drawing from primary sources ranging from eighteenth-century strategists to modern hobbyists, Playing at the World explores the origins of wargames and roleplaying through the history of conflict simulations and the eccentric characters who drove the creation of a signature cultural innovation in the late twentieth century. Filled with unparalleled archival research (from obscure fanzines to letters, drafts, and other ephemera), this new edition of Playing at the World is the ultimate geek's guide to the original RPG. As such, it is an indispensable resource for academics and game fans exploring the origins of the hobby.
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