Will D&D dead end when its novelty dies? That is impossible to answer. It is my personal opinion that the game form is a classic which is of the same stamp as chess and MONOPOLY® ; time will be the judge.More than three decades later, I think it's pretty clear: while D&D's novelty is dead, that fact doesn't preclude its being considered a classic game. Tabletop roleplaying may not be as faddish as it once was, but it's here to stay, in one form or another. As I noted yesterday, there's a very real sense in which popular culture can be divided into "pre-Dungeons & Dragons" and "post-Dungeons & Dragons" eras. Can the same be said of Monopoly or Risk or Clue, three games most children have owned and grow up playing with their friends.
Given that, isn't it about time that some early edition of D&D be re-published in a "nostalgia edition?" Goodness knows I loathe the term "vintage" or "classic" when applied to early editions of the game -- never mind "legacy" -- but these are marketing terms with wide currency. Many popular boardgames have been re-released in nostalgia editions, using graphics and components from long out-of-print versions. Such editions appeal to nostalgia, of course, but they also emphasize continuity with the past by allowing multiple generations to share their common experiences. My parents played Monopoly when they were children, for example, just as I did and my children do. And what's important here is that three generations of us played the same game and that game is still available today in an unaltered form.
Why doesn't D&D deserve the same treatment? While my dream would be to see a re-released version of the LBBs, that's likely not practical for many reasons. But what about Moldvay/Cook? My issues with it aside, it's the first truly mass market version of the game, one that's well written and clear and yet not so far removed from the early culture of the hobby as to be alien to it. Plus, its "look" is unlike anything we've seen in many moons, making it an ideal candidate for being deemed "vintage" by the marketers who love such terminology. Wouldn't it be great to be able to buy this version of the game forever? A game I could not only buy for my children but that they could buy for theirs in the future? Is there any good reason why this hasn't already happened?