Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

by Michael Witwer

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Overview

The life story of Gary Gygax, godfather of all fantasy adventure games, has been told only in bits and pieces. Michael Witwer has written a dynamic, dramatized biography of Gygax from his childhood in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to his untimely death in 2008.

Gygax's magnum opus, Dungeons & Dragons, would explode in popularity throughout the 1970s and '80s and irreversibly alter the world of gaming. D&D is the best-known, best-selling role-playing game of all time, and it boasts an elite class of alumni—Stephen Colbert, Robin Williams, and Junot Diaz all have spoken openly about their experience with the game as teenagers, and some credit it as the workshop where their nascent imaginations were fostered.

Gygax's involvement in the industry lasted long after his dramatic and involuntary departure from D&D's parent company, TSR, and his footprint can be seen in the genre he is largely responsible for creating. But as Witwer shows, perhaps the most compelling facet of his life and work was his unwavering commitment to the power of creativity in the face of myriad sources of adversity, whether cultural, economic, or personal. Through his creation of the role-playing genre, Gygax gave two generations of gamers the tools to invent characters and entire worlds in their minds. Told in narrative-driven and dramatic fashion, Witwer has written an engaging chronicle of the life and legacy of this emperor of the imagination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632862037
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Witwer is a lifelong gamer and gaming enthusiast. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, where this book first emerged as the subject of his master's thesis. He is also a film and theater actor and marketing professional, and is the brother of actor Sam Witwer, who originally introduced him to Dungeons & Dragons. He lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife and two children.

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Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While there is nothing truly revalatory to be found herein, this is a well-writtem, engaging and deeply personal look at a man whose work shaped every aspect of popular culture. Well worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book....shows how gary grew up..how he came about his ideas and put them in place to create an epic game....a must read for ANY AND ALL gamers to know where it all came from..hope we see a movie based on this book