Dungeons & Dragons, or the Reality of Illusions

March 21st, 2018 · 1 hr 18 mins

About this Episode

The Dutch historian Johan Huizinga was one of the first thinkers to define games as exercises in world-making. Every game, he wrote, occurs within a magic circle where the rules of ordinary life are suspended and new laws come into play. No game illustrates this better than Gary Gygax's tabletop RPG, Dungeons & Dragons. In this episode, Phil and JF use D&D as the focus of a conversation about the weird interdependence of reality and fantasy.

Header image: Gaetan Bahl (Wikimedia Commons)

WORKS CITED OR DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE

Official homepage of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game

Critical Role web series
 
Another RPG podcast JF failed to mention: The HowWeRoll Podcast

Demetrious Johnson’s Twitch site

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (documentary)
 
Chessboxing!
 
Jackson Lears, Something for Nothing: Luck in America
 
Peter Fischli, The Way Things Go
 
Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox, Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom
 
Lawrence Schick, ed., Deities & Demigods: Cyclopedia of Gods and Heroes from Myth and Legend
 
Article on Mazes and Monsters, a movie that came out of the D&D moral panic of the 1980s
 
Phil Ford, “Xenorationality”
 
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element of Culture
 
John Sinclair, [Guitar Army: Rock and Revolution with the MC5 and the White Panther Party](https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Army-Revolution-White-Panther/dp/1934170003)