How 'Dungeons' changed the world

From then on, I never had another forlorn afternoon. And to think, from that first fateful day when I decided I would be known as the half-elf wizard Vendel, I was joining a revolution. But what exactly were we transforming?

To put it simply, Dungeons and Dragons reinvented the use of the imagination as a kid’s best toy. The cliche of parents waxing nostalgic for their wooden toys and things “they had to make themselves” has now become my own. Looking around at my toddler’s room full of trucks, trains, and Transformers, I want to cry out, “I created worlds with nothing more than a twenty-sided die!”


My generation of gamers — whose youths were spent holed up in paneled wood basements crafting identities, mythologies, and geographies with a few lead figurines — are the filmmakers, computer programmers, writers, DJs, and musicians of today. I think, for the producers, the movie version of “The Lord of the Rings” was less about getting the trilogy off the page and onto the screen than it was a vicarious thrill, a gift to the millions of us who wished we could have dressed up as orcs and ventured into catacombs and castle keeps ourselves. Only a generation of imaginations roused by role playing could have made those movies possible.–Peter BebergalHow ‘Dungeons’ changed the world (

An emotional celebration of a game that gave many players an outlet for their creativity.