Wednesday, 10 October 2012

New books on the history of wargaming and roleplaying

There's a few books come out lately on the history of wargaming, roleplaying and simulation.

War Games and their History
by C G Lewin. This book charts the development of (map and board) wargames from the Renaissance to the 1950s.

Innovations in wargaming. Developments in professional and hobby wargames vol 1
By John Curry. This book is in fact a collection of games in all kinds of unconventional forms by Paddy Griffiths and Terry Wise (mostly). There's an introduction and discussion of the design of these games by Paddy Griffith at the end.

Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World: A History of Simulating Wars, People and Fantastic Adventures from Chess to Role-Playing Games.
This is big book about the development of roleplaying up to the 1980s, based on meticulous research of game fora and fanzines as well as interviews with some of the key players. Check out this interview with Jon Peterson and a review by John Curry.

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks. An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.
By Ethan Gilsdorf. This also a book about the fantasy and roleplaying but focusses on the community, rather than the development of the games.

It inspired me yesterday to post my review of Achtung Schweinhund by Harry Pearson which I did a few years ago .

This is an interesting development. I remember there were a few books on wargaming around in the mid-1980s, but they didn't have that retrospective look. They were gamut's of what was around at the time.

My guess is that with the end of the first generation of postwar wargamers, some of their younger members and pupils now feel the need to pass on something that they consider special, and possibly disappearing. What do you guys think? Are these guys documenting a hobby in decline?

1 comment:

  1. In the light of my recent reply regarding my experiences I'm interested in the last 2 books.


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