Photos » Recent Photos » Photo-a-day #296: October 23, 2011 - Birthplace of Dungeons and Dragons

Taken on: 2011-10-23 11:02:49

NERD ALERT! I couldn't go to Lake Geneva without planing a semi-pilgrimage to the former home of Gary Gygax (RIP), co-founder of Dungeons and Dragons (this is the place he lived when originally creating the game). Often considered the father of all role-playing games, Gary was intimately involved in inventing the genre in the 70's and 80's.

I have many fond memories playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in the mid to late 80's at the campground with friends Matt and Dan. We'd stay up late nights building our characters and doing all the uber nerd stuff that you now see on Big Bang Theory. I own 6 of Gary's books (AD&D first edition), and at the time knew them quite well as was required to play the game effectively.

This picture is of Gary's original home in Lake Geneva, and was the site of Gen Con 0 in 1967 when Gary had 20 people in the basement of this home to game. About a block away is the Ag Hall (still standing) where the formal Gen Con was held. About another block away is the former headquarters of TSR, the company he founded that released most of the well-known D&D stuff in the 80's. He later moved a few blocks from this house where he often had people over to game on his porch. In 2007, A 40 years of Gencon book was created, and this preview gives some fun insight to those interested.

There is a Gary Gygax memorial in the works, but until then, this visit sufficed. If you've played and live in Wisconsin, you should take your nerd pilgrimage to check it out.