Thursday, September 5, 2013

Old Dragons

Ok, not the great wyrms that plague players and villagers. I'm talking about old issues of the original Dragon Magazine. I recently discovered a local gaming store here in downtown Madison, right next to the parking garage I now park at. On a whim I sauntered in the other day while waiting for my daughter to meet me at the car.

The store was small, but open. The floor was covered with tables and chairs, and was obviously geared towards CCG’s. In fact, the girl who worked there was sorting through large boxes of Magic cards, I believe.

Along the walls were shelves of comics, graphic novels, a huge section for 4E, board games, box games, and CCGs. And in the very back was a tall bookshelf of used stuff. This is always my favorite part of any game store, and I find that I am actually disappointed when a store doesn’t have one.

On their shelves were several interesting items. I really wanted that well-preserved copy of SpyCraft 2.0, but I couldn’t afford it. What I could afford, though, were three issues of Dragon Magazine from the early 1980’s. Issues 54 and 55 were from 1981, and issue 80 was from 1983. This was the time period when I first started playing, and the magazines are awesome for the nostalgia alone, let alone the content.

As I thumb through them, I notice a couple of things. First is that I recognize many of the names; Ed Greenwood, Gary Gygax, Roger E. Moore. I even found an article by acclaimed sci-fi and fantasy author, Katherine Kerr (who I recently friended on Facebook after winning a signed copy of one of her books). The other thing I noticed was the plethora of RPG’s that were being produced at the time. Many of these have fallen away, and most I had never even heard of. But the ads looked cool, and I have to giggle at the many “play by mail” RPG’s and strategy games advertised there.

In the early days of my gaming, I lived overseas on an Air Force base, and I don’t recall reading Dragon Magazine, as the base book store didn’t stock it. I believe I found it during the early 90’s when I was in the Army. So these issues are very interesting to me. And looking at them reinforces my opinion that the new Gygax Magazine does a good job of replicating the look and feel of those old Dragons.

While it’s a great time to be a gamer today, history shows me that it always has been, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment