Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Someone on twitter made an "alignment chart" for members of her Marx reading group and I realized I'd never looked up the origins. No surprises.

Arneson's role-playing game design work grew from his interest in wargames. His parents bought him the board wargame Gettysburg by Avalon Hill in the early 1960s. After Arneson taught his friends how to play, the group began to design their own games[5] and tried out new ways to play existing games. Arneson was especially fond of naval wargames.[6] Exposure to role-playing influenced his later game designs. In college history classes he role-played historical events, and preferred to deviate from recorded history in a manner similar to "what if" scenarios recreated in wargames.[7] In the late 1960s[5] Arneson joined the Midwest Military Simulation Association (MMSA), a group of miniature wargamers and military figurine collectors in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that included among its ranks future game designer David Wesely. Wesely asserts that it was during the Braunstein games he created and refereed, and in which other MMSA members participated, that Arneson helped develop the foundations of modern role-playing games on a 1:1 scale basis by focusing on non-combat objectives—a step away from wargaming towards the more individual play and varied challenges of later RPGs.[8][9] Arneson was a participant in Wesely's wargame scenarios, and as Arneson continued to run his own scenarios he eventually expanded them to include ideas from The Lord of the Rings and Dark Shadows.[10] Arneson took over the Braunsteins when Wesely was drafted into the Army, and often ran them in different eras with different settings.[11]:6 Arneson had also become a member of the International Federation of Wargamers by this time.[11]:6 In 1969 Arneson was a history student at the University of Minnesota and working part-time as a security guard.[12] He attended the second Gen Con gaming convention in August 1969 (at which time wargaming was still the primary focus) and it was at this event that he met Gary Gygax,[13][14] who had founded the Castle & Crusade Society within the International Federation of Wargamers in the 1960s at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, not far from Arneson's home in Minnesota.[5][12] Arneson and Gygax also shared an interest in sailing ship games and they co-authored the Don't Give Up the Ship naval battle rules, serialized from June 1971 and later published as a single volume in 1972 by Guidon Games with a revised edition by TSR, Inc. in 1975.[12][15]

Slate Star Codex, "rationalists" Scott Aaronson, Aaron Swartz, David Graeber, Utopia and Intentional Communities, Transhumanism and Transgender, Fascism.

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