Nerds Gettin’ Paid

NYT on the influence of Dungeons and Dragons on a generation of writers:

“For certain writers, especially those raised in the 1970s and ’80s, all that time spent in basements has paid off. D&D helped jump-start their creative lives. As Mr. [Junot] Díaz said, ‘It’s been a formative narrative media for all sorts of writers.’

The league of ex-gamer writers also includes the ‘weird fiction’ author China Miéville (‘The City & the City’); Brent Hartinger (author of ‘Geography Club,’ a novel about gay and bisexual teenagers); the sci-fi and young adult author Cory Doctorow; the poet and fiction writer Sherman Alexie; the comedian Stephen Colbert; George R. R. Martin, author of the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series (who still enjoys role-playing games). Others who have been influenced are television and film storytellers and entertainers like Robin Williams, Matt Groening (‘The Simpsons’), Dan Harmon (‘Community’) and Chris Weitz (‘American Pie’).”


“As for Mr. Díaz, ‘Once girls entered the equation in a serious way,’ he said, ‘gaming went right out the window.’ But he said he still misses D&D’s arcane pleasures and feels its legacy is still with him: ‘I’m not sure I would have been able to transition from reader to writer so easily if it had not been for gaming.’”

So true.

As for me, those long afternoons in the Ingle basement in Silver Spring, Maryland were time more than well spent.  And Gary Gygax’s penchant for anachronistic English had another benefit — I aced the vocabulary section of the S.A.T. in no small part because I knew strange words like “encumbrance” and “weal” and “guisarme.”

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