Enjoy this Home Movie of a Dungeons & Dragons Gaming Session from 1981

I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons for a long time now. My childhood adventures bled straight into my teens and into my adulthood. It feels like one big non-stop campaign, but it has actually changed quite a lot over time. My style of play went a lot more towards roleplaying vs. character maximizing, my style of DMing quickly abandoned written adventures for a more freestyle approach and of course the people I have played with have changed. In folders and Trapper Keepers are the artifacts of my gaming past. I hold onto those papers with a certain reverence, but they only tell a part of the story. The other parts are harder to capture.

Why is D&D so enjoyable? The escapism? Sure, but it is also the camaraderie and the ritual of gaming. Things that are not captured on mere paper, but are etched into my brain and captured on a few audio cassettes I made of my sessions in the eighties. When I listen to them, I wish I had captured these same things on video or film, but alas I did not have access to such high tech equipment.

Lucky for me someone else did though.

This is not the best footage in terms of quality and sound (none), but this is a wonderful time capsule that captures the look and feel of a DnD gaming session in the early 1980s. It was uploaded by Ethan Gilsdorf, who wrote the wonderful book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. Check out the footage and if you fail your saving throw vs. nostalgia click on the link above and check out Mr. Gilsdorf’s book.

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2 thoughts on “Enjoy this Home Movie of a Dungeons & Dragons Gaming Session from 1981

  1. thedevilbunny says:

    That’s good stuff right there…that takes me back for sure. In 1981…I was probably doing about the exact same thing as those fellas are..kicking back with some adnd with my geek buddies.

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