A friend of mine pointed me to a video about the history of RPGs. The video is released by Toy Galaxy, a YouTube channel with more than 93000 subscribers. While the video appeared to be well researched, going into great detail about the life of Gary Gygax and the things he did with gaming before the creation of D&D, the show goes into great lenght to downplay the key role played in the creation of the world's most famous tabletop roleplaying game of the other co-creator; Dave Arneson.
While this is not the first time a wanna-be gaming historian gives Dave Arneson less credit than this blog author believes he deserves, I think this video takes this unjust trend to a new height. According to the video, many people contributed to the creation of D&D, but "ultimately Dungeons & Dragons as published by TSR was credited to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson." While I think it is admirable that other influential figures of the time get credit for their contributions to the hobby, I don't think that was the intent of the video. Neither David Wesely, Gary Switzer, MAR Barker nor others are mentioned by name. The point of this sentence seems only to be reducing the importance of Dave Arneson who is never mentioned again in the video after that single sentence.
To make matters worse, I have gotten reports that people who have tried to correct this misinformation have had their comments removed from the feed. To confirm this, I added a comment of my own, but this comment does also appear to have been removed except from my own feed. I'm not an expert with how YouTube works, but apparently this sort of censorship is often done manually. If anyone else reading this can see my comments, please let me know. This is pretty disturbing.
Now, gaming historians will disagree about who was most influential in the creation of D&D and who contributed what of Gary and Dave. But I have never seen any even semi-serious gaming historian give Dave as little credit as this video does. You can watch the video here. Let me know if you think I am being unfair.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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