Dave Arneson, co-creator of the seminal game, Dungeons and Dragons, died last week at age 61. I met Dave several times, and interviewed him on a few occasions. Last year, I asked him to reflect on his legacy. Here's what he had to say:
Dave Kushner: Is there a way that you would like D&D to be remembered in the annals of gaming?
Dave Arneson: Well, it's already sort of a paradigm as far as creating a whole new genre. I mean there really wasn't role playing before, and now everybody does role playing. I mean, I came up with the idea of having hit points for characters. How many role playing games use hit points? So, in some respects I've done a lot of contribution. And my biggest problem was actually [laughs] I designed a lot of other games that are really quite good. No, none of them have sold zillions of copies like D&D. I'd really like people to realize I can do other things. I mean we talk about computers. I mean they look at me and they start talking to me about computers, like well you don't know anything about computers. I started my own computer company 25 years ago. I teach computer game design. Well, you understand computers then. Duh, me understandâ''Grog understand computers. So, and often times when I'm talking to people, giving an interview, we don't get much past the you designed D&D. And they start asking me all sorts of D&D related questions, like oh I guess we'll talk to you about D&D, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's like no (I talk about) I really am three dimensional. so the good part is obviously I can open doors because I did D&D. And D&D is a phenomenon. Most people have played it. Far beyond anything we ever imagined. And that's great, that's fantastic. And because it's been around for 30 years it's going to be around in the future too. So that's pretty awesome. There's not too much, especially games, survive over any period of time. Most games are here today, gone tomorrow. Heck, most computer games if they're (good) they last six months it's great. There's what, maybe a dozen of them that have lasted more than a year. And if you subtract the ones that Will Wright did there's almost none. [laughs]