The 70’s have a special place in my heart…
I was born in the 70’s, but don’t remember them, so why do I love them?
People have been playing pretend since, well, since there were people. Folks have been playing games with funny shaped die for thousands of years, just ask the Romans. In the 70’s some war gamers combined the two, playing out adventures and resolving combat in the way common to all war gamers, shrieking and nitpicking. The dice just facilitated the arguing.
Said in a far less facetious way; Dungeons and Dragons was invented, not in a vacuum or a flash of light, but out of a sense of fun and competition. Other role-playing games hit the market and soon the hobby was born.
The 70’s also gave us fat Elvis and a whole crapton of Elvis impersonators. WTF? Why link fat dudes in jumpsuits, crooning ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ with role-players?
Role-playing games went through a bit of a shitstorm in their early years. Hated by Christian groups and blamed for all sorts of insane stuff. Teachers at my high school gave speeches about the evils of role-playing. The mum of a friend of mine thought we must be gay, and worried we were ‘recruiting’.
Like all moral panics it has fizzled out. Gamers are no longer those dangerous motorcycle-riding outlaws seeking to recruit young minds for the service of the devil. We’re Elvis impersonators, looked at with wry amusement and mild ridicule. We’re harmless, now leave us alone to enjoy our fun. Elvis has left the building and stuck his role-playing shite all up on the internet.