Book Review – Game Wizards

My book review for Jon Peterson’s Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons is now live at Press Start! Press Start is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal for multidisciplinary game studies. You can read the full article for free, but I’ve also included a short excerpt below:

No disrespect toward Jon Peterson’s prior work, but his latest foray into the history of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)—and the multifarious games, hobbies, and businesses that played a part in its astonishing rise—is more accessible than the canonical Playing at the World (2012). Where the author’s previous offering can be a challenging read due to its ambitious scope, Game Wizards is a much more tightly written affair. Peterson propels the reader through the early history of D&D and the emergence of the now defunct Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) company, tracing the emergence of the fantasy role-playing business landscape in the 1970s and 1980s. In Peterson’s own words, this is “the story of how D&D rose from its humble origins to become a pop culture phenomenon, and what that remarkable journey did to the people who made it” (p. xi).

Suggested Citation: Iantorno, M. (2023). Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons [Review of Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons, by J. Peterson]. Press Start, 9(1), 58–61.

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By Michael