Luke Gygax and E. Gary Gygax Jr, sons of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax have announced they have formed TSR Games. The company's first, brave, foray into the market will be a print publication: Gygax Magazine with a very familiar logo. Apparently D&D owner Wizards of the Coast (and its owners, Hasbro) the last trademarked “TSR” for a game company in 2003, opening the door for the Brothers Gygax to scoop up the name for their company Hexagonist Publishing LLC on May 25, 2011. [more inside]
12-year-old uses Dungeons & Dragons to help scientist dad with his research: Cognitive scientist Alan Kingstone wanted to test whether people look at each others' eyes or simply to the center of faces. Some had suggested an answer would be impossible to discern because humans' eyes are in the center of their faces. But Alan’s son, Julian, a fan of D&D, told his father about D&D monster characters that have eyes in unusual places, such as on their hands or tail. “[Julian suggested] if you just showed them these images, you could find out whether they are looking for the eyes or not. I thought, actually, that’s a very good idea,” Kingstone said (summarized from Cosmos). The paper describing the results - "Monsters are people too" - was published in the British Royal Society journal Biology Letters this month, with 14-year-old Julian named as the lead author.
I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.- Race in Dungeons & Dragons by Chris van Dyke, a powerpoint talk given at Nerd Nite. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog where there's a smart discussion going on about the essay.
Teens in Israel need to find a new hobby: Incoming recruits to Israel's Defense Forces (Tzahal) who divulge playing Dungeons & Dragons are being flagged with low security clearance and psychological disorders. New guidelines are in place that limit D&D hobbyists from being considered for sensitive army positions such as Sayeret Mat'Kal, one of the most elite designations of Tzahal. Why does the IDF believe the game is so dangerous?: "These people have a tendency to be influenced by external factors which could cloud their judgment, a military official says. "They may be detached from reality or have a weak personality – elements which lower a person's security clearance, allowing them to serve in the army, but not in sensitive positions." Many find this policy inexplicable, and are turning to humor to aleviate the ridiculousness.