History Of Dungeons & Dragons: RPGs Roll +2 Popularity In The '70s

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Cover art from the first edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook, published 1978. Source: forgottenrealms.fandom.com

In 1974, the board game industry was turned upside down with the introduction of Dungeons and Dragons, the first fantasy role-playing game (or RPG) that was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson of Wisconsin. Although the original D&D game was less complex than subsequent ones, it nonetheless captures the attention of the American public with its unique blend of fantasy, storytelling, medieval life and war play that gave players the flexibility to create and develop their own characters. Dungeons and Dragons, the best-known role-playing game, spawned a burst of copycat games and garnered some negative publicity in the 1970s, but has persevered to lead cosplay and role-playing conventions and helped to create a subculture of role-playing gamers.