I just bought the DVD set of SECRETS OF BLACKMOOR: THE TRUE HISTORY OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and I'm watching the streaming version online now. It is pretty good so far, and goes into stuff I didn't know about like the influence of Strategos, the way they modified it, and all of the Braunstein variations. This whole issue of when exactly role-playing started is very murky.
The best part so far is when John Arneson, Dave's father, is interviewed and says, that when he poked his head down into the basement to find out what they were doing: "I thought those guys are nuts, wasting all this time, when they could be out earning a living some place."
Last Edit: May 10, 2020 11:37:06 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
This documentary did a great job of showing that the role-playing game wasn't invented by one person, and it didn't happen overnight. There were years of intense playing of many games and there were many variations, lots of experimentation, and what we would recognize as proto-role-playing -- people assuming roles but not completely open-ended. Those folks in Minnesota deserve a lot more credit than they normally get. But there was a definite ping-pong effect going on and a cross-fertilization of ideas and people inspiring each other, including the Lake Genevans.