Has the Earliest Version of Dungeons & Dragons Been Discovered?

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If you’re a geek or gamer (or both), chances are you’ve played Dungeons & Dragons, or know someone who has. First introduced in 1974, D&D went on to become an international phenomenon selling over $1 Billion worth of books, 20-sided dice and related materials in over 30 countries.

To this day, many leaders in entertainment, and other industries, hail D&D as a major inspirations for their creativity and imagination. In short, it was quite a game. And to many, it still is. But where did it come from?

The common wisdom is D&D was invented by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, two friends who’s love of gaming led them to create the first rule books, and more, for what would become modern D&D and later, Advanced D&D. But is that the whole story?

Over at Geek Dad they’ve wondered the same thing and a statement about the discovery of a rare manuscript may just hold the key to unlocking the mystery of who really created the game. According to the statement by the Strong National Museum of Play, “A rare manuscript believed by some experts to be the earliest existing version of Dungeons & Dragons” is now on display at their Rochester, NY, museum.

What does this manuscript mean for the history of D&D and the people who are mostly associated with its creation? As with many mysteries, this new evidence asks as many questions as it answers.

In the end, to D&D players and fans at least, it probably doesn’t matter so much who was ultimately responsible for creating the game. Although, it is fun to learn more about the history of this beloved game and it is important to give proper credit where credit is due.

However, the history of the game is less important that how much fun, entertainment and inspiration the game has provided to generations of players. Dungeons & Dragons has been a lunchpin in the development of millions of geeks and the debt owed to it can’t really be measured.

It is one hell of a game.

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