An Epic Journey Through Time: Dungeons & Dragons Turns 40

Email a Friend
Dice for playing Dungeons and Dragons at The Brooklyn Strategist.
From and

Forty years ago this month, a shoe cobbler named Gary Gygax and a security guard named Dave Arneson published the first version of a game that would change the face of popular culture forever.

Appealing primarily to young boys, the game they created allowed players to spend hours fighting dragons, rescuing princesses, and conquering far-off worlds—often from the comfort of their parents’ basements or garages.

We're referring, of course, to the legendary game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Mocked for its appeal to adolescent misfits and celebrated for its ability to feed the imagination, the game has been cited as a source of inspiration by some of the biggest geeks-turned-creative powerhouses.

Among the fans: Jack Black, Joss Whedon, Reggie Watts, Stephen Colbert, and a surprise to many, Dame Judi Dench.

And our two guests today are Dungeon Masters as well.

David Ewalt is the author of "Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It."

And in addition to being a D&D enthusiast, John August is the screenwriter behind “Frankenweenie,” “The Corpse Bride,” “Big Fish,” “Charlie's Angels,” “Go,” and many other blockbuster films.

Together they help The Takeaway celebrate this pop culture milestone, and explain how Dungeons & Dragons withstood the test of time.