The culture phenomenon of "Dungeons & Dragons" revolutionized gaming -- and role-playing games have launched a multi-billion dollar industry. In the exhaustively researched Playing at the
World: A History of Simulating Wars, People and Fantastic Adventures, published by Unreason Press, author Jon Peterson has produced a bible for the gaming fanatic.
He charts the
history of modern gaming, as well as its cultural significance, in detail — from the lure of medieval settings to a Sixties creation featuring the SDS and Black Panthers, the popularity of magic
to the global appeal of playing "Diplomacy."
January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary "Dungeons & Dragons," and Playing at the World uses it to explain, in
depth, its impact on enthusiasts and the future mingling of fantasy literature and war gaming. His opus also details the rules of war games and role-playing games. For game lovers, as well as anyone
fascinated by this genre, this is an extraordinary effort. Whether chronicling the history of chess or the creation of sophisticated war games at Rand Corp., Peterson's seminal work reminds us that
gaming is serious business. —Fern Siegel