Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who

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The Lord of the Rings meets Moneyball in this unique and authoritative book on Dungeons & Dragons—from the game’s origins through its rise to cultural prominence, and its ripple effect on popular culture today.

Even if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has (whether or not they’re willing to admit it). Released in 1974—decades before video games and the Internet took over the gaming world—Dungeons & Dragons became one of the original nerd subcultures, and is still revered by over thirty million fans today. Now Forbes senior editor David M. Ewalt explores the rich history of the game, revealing the magic that enlivened his youth, and has since re-entered his adult life in a whole new way.

From its roots on the battlefields of ancient Europe, through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides, and to its apotheosis as father of the modern video game industry, Of Dice and Men recounts the development of a game played by some of most fascinating people in the world. Chronicling the surprising history of D&D’s origins (one largely unknown even to hardcore players) while examining the game’s profound impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp cultural analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences.

An enticing blend of history, journalism, narrative and memoir, Of Dice and Men sheds light on America’s most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.
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About the author

David M. Ewalt began playing Dungeons & Dragons when he was ten years old. Now an award-winning journalist, he writes about games for outlets like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, talks about games on television and radio, and plays games in and around his Brooklyn, New York, home. Join him or find out more at DavidMEwalt.com.

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51 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 20, 2013
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781451640526
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Games & Activities / Role Playing & Fantasy
Social Science / General
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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David M. Ewalt
A fascinating exploration of the history, development, and future of virtual reality, a technology with world-changing potential, written by award-winning journalist and author David Ewalt, stemming from his 2015 Forbes cover story about the Oculus Rift and its creator Palmer Luckey.

You’ve heard about virtual reality, seen the new gadgets, and read about how VR will be the next big thing. But you probably haven’t yet realized the extent to which this technology will change the way we live. We used to be bound to a physical reality, but new immersive computer simulations allow us to escape our homes and bodies. Suddenly anyone can see what it’s like to stand on the peak of Mount Everest. A person who can’t walk can experience a marathon from the perspective of an Olympic champion. And why stop there? Become a dragon and fly through the universe. But it’s not only about spectacle. Virtual and augmented reality will impact nearly every aspect of our lives—commerce, medicine, politics—the applications are infinite.

It may sound like science fiction, but this vision of the future drives billions of dollars in business and is a top priority for such companies as Facebook, Google, and Sony. Yet little is known about the history of these technologies. In Defying Reality, David M. Ewalt traces the story from ancient amphitheaters to Cold War military laboratories, through decades of hype and failure, to a nineteen-year-old video game aficionado who made the impossible possible. Ewalt looks at how businesses are already using this tech to revolutionize the world around us, and what we can expect in the future. Writing for a mainstream audience as well as for technology enthusiasts, Ewalt offers a unique perspective on VR. With firsthand accounts and on-the-ground reporting, Defying Reality shows how virtual reality will change our work, our play, and the way we relate to one another.
Christie Golden
“Nothing is free, Go’el,” Jaina Proudmoore said. “Your knowledge and skills were bought at a cost. The . . . orc you left behind in your place had done much harm in your absence. If I have heard about what is going on in Orgrimmar and Ashenvale, surely you must have!”

Go’el’s mien, which had been deeply peaceful, now looked troubled. “I have heard, of course.”

“And . . . you do nothing?”

“I have another path,” he said. “You have seen the results of that path. A threat that—”

“Go’el, I hear this, but now that task is over. Garrosh is stirring up trouble between the Alliance and the Horde—trouble that didn’t exist until he started it. I can understand if you don’t wish to undermine him publicly, but—perhaps you and I can work together. Form a summit of sorts. Ask Baine to join us; I know he has no love for what Garrosh is striving for. I could speak with Varian. As of late, he seems to be more reachable. Everyone respects you, even in the Alliance, Go’el. You have earned that respect because of your actions. Garrosh has earned nothing but mistrust and hatred because of his.”

She indicated her cloak, which had blown about with the wind he had sent to bear her to shore. “You can control the winds as a shaman. But the winds of war are blowing, and if we do not stop Garrosh now, many innocents will pay the price for our hesitation.”

***

The ashes of the Cataclysm have settled across Azeroth’s disparate kingdoms. As the broken world recovers from the disaster, the renowned sorceress Lady Jaina Proudmoore continues her long struggle to mend relations between the Horde and the Alliance. Yet of late, escalating tensions have pushed the two factions closer to open war, threatening to destroy what little stability remains in the . . .

Dark news arrives in Jaina’s beloved city, Theramore. One of the blue dragonflight’s most powerful artifacts—the Focusing Iris—has been stolen. To unravel the item’s mysterious whereabouts, Jaina works with the former blue Dragon Aspect Kalecgos. The two brilliant heroes forge an unlikely bond during their investigation, but another disastrous turn of events looms on the horizon. . . .

Garrosh Hellscream is mustering the Horde’s armies for an all-out invasion of Theramore. Despite mounting dissent within his faction, the brazen warchief aims to usher in a new era of Horde domination. His thirst for conquest leads him to take brutal measures against anyone who dares question his leadership.

Alliance forces converge on Theramore to repel the Horde onslaught, but the brave defenders are unprepared for the true scope of Garrosh’s cunning and deceptive strategy. His attack will irrevocably transform Jaina, engulfing the ardent peacekeeper in the chaotic and all-consuming . . . TIDES OF WAR
Steven D. Levitt
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

David M. Ewalt
A fascinating exploration of the history, development, and future of virtual reality, a technology with world-changing potential, written by award-winning journalist and author David Ewalt, stemming from his 2015 Forbes cover story about the Oculus Rift and its creator Palmer Luckey.

You’ve heard about virtual reality, seen the new gadgets, and read about how VR will be the next big thing. But you probably haven’t yet realized the extent to which this technology will change the way we live. We used to be bound to a physical reality, but new immersive computer simulations allow us to escape our homes and bodies. Suddenly anyone can see what it’s like to stand on the peak of Mount Everest. A person who can’t walk can experience a marathon from the perspective of an Olympic champion. And why stop there? Become a dragon and fly through the universe. But it’s not only about spectacle. Virtual and augmented reality will impact nearly every aspect of our lives—commerce, medicine, politics—the applications are infinite.

It may sound like science fiction, but this vision of the future drives billions of dollars in business and is a top priority for such companies as Facebook, Google, and Sony. Yet little is known about the history of these technologies. In Defying Reality, David M. Ewalt traces the story from ancient amphitheaters to Cold War military laboratories, through decades of hype and failure, to a nineteen-year-old video game aficionado who made the impossible possible. Ewalt looks at how businesses are already using this tech to revolutionize the world around us, and what we can expect in the future. Writing for a mainstream audience as well as for technology enthusiasts, Ewalt offers a unique perspective on VR. With firsthand accounts and on-the-ground reporting, Defying Reality shows how virtual reality will change our work, our play, and the way we relate to one another.
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