I just finished reading ‘The Elfish Gene’, by Mark Barrowcliffe. The byline of the book is ‘Dungeons, Dragons, and growing up strange’, and that’s exactly what the book covers.
It describes the author growing up as an adolescent boy in Coventry, becoming totally addicted to Dungeons & Dragons. Many of the episodes he describes are very recognizable for those of us who also grow up during the 70s and 80s, the golden age of pen-and-paper roleplaying games. Although of course the setting is a bit different, I could relate very well to the anxieties and obsession of teenage boys with games. I even admit that at one point I thought the ultimate career in life would be to run a gaming shop (to have free access to all the stuff), or at least be a game designer in one of the game companies.
Although I still play games, that same level of intensity one had as a boy is gone. But non-gaming friends tell me I still look like a game fanatic to them, so I guess it must have been really weird 20 years ago ;-)
Full reviews: http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13220.phtml http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2008/11/the-elfish-gene/
Thanks for reading our blog! Reading your book threw me back in time, and I am actually now considering running a vintage roleplaying campaign using vintage rules. On the other hand, I’ll probably wait a few days till the feeling of nostalgia wanes off …