Playing at the World

Many of you will already be aware of this, making me late to the party, but if you don't: Jon Peterson is a computer engineer and historian of D&D who self-published a 700-page book called “Playing at the World” which digs deep into the original development of D&D, its historical antecedents over several centuries, and the digital gaming revolution which came afterward. Apparently in some cases he traveled the world to dig up rare archival documents around the time of the first D&D game writings by Arneson and Gygax (and others). His book is available on Amazon, and he also started an associated blog a few months ago. (And I discovered his effort via an interview at Wired.) Work like this is enormously appreciated by people like myself, and I plan to eagerly read what other insights he posts to his blog in the future.


  1. Yes, I'm a little more than half way through Playing at the World, and I've found it very enjoyable. It's an impressive work of scholarship.

  2. The book and blog have really challenged my perception of early D&D history. So much so that I don't truly know what is "old school" or not.

    1. Yeah, I agree with that. Some stuff I was very fuzzy about (revisions to Chainmail, exact interaction with Tolkien estate) are finally getting clarified.