Thursday, November 4, 2010

Seeking a Quote

Now, my memory may be playing tricks on me -- it happens when you get older -- but I recall having read an article by Gygax, perhaps an early "From the Sorcerer's Scroll" column, where he mentions that the assumed audience of D&D was college age or older. Does anyone else remember this? If so, can you tell me in what issue of The Dragon it appeared?

Thanks in advance.


  1. That seems very familiar to me, too, but I just did a search for the word "College" in issues #1-72 of Dragon using my old Dragon Magazine Archive CD-ROMs and I couldn't find anything like that.

    The closest I found to any kind of statistics regarding RPG player demographics was a reader survey for the "Electronic Eye" computer review feature that was conducted in Dragon #51. They were trying to find out the demographics of readers of that column versus the rest of the magazine readership.

    The results (published in issue #57) were:

    "Two-thirds of the responses were from persons under the age of 19. While this also is consistent with the magazine’s readership profile, we expected a generally older group to be reading The Electric Eye. Only 9% were persons of college age (19-22) and 25% were over the age of 22. None of those responding were over 45.
    The education level of those responding was consistent with the ages: 66% were still in high school, 25% have attended college, and 9% have done post-graduate work. Interestingly, two readers listed their age as under 15, but their education was
    at the college level.
    As might be expected from the results cited in the above paragraphs, the majority of those responding listed “student” as their occupation . . . 71%, to be exact. The rest of the responses were evenly divided between business, professional, government (including military), engineering and technical."

  2. I tried the same approach as Martin and didn't find much after a cursory search.

    That said, I very much remember reading that at some point, or maybe it was just the assumption of a junior high kid circa 1980.

  3. Doesn't the promo for the Holmes basic game say for 3-6+ adult players?

  4. I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but try this (seventh paragraph):

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  6. Perhaps your memory is paraphrasing paragraph 2 of Gary's preface in the AD&D PHB? "This latter part of the ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS project I approached with no small amount of trepidation. After all, the game's major appeal is to those persons with unusually active imagination and superior, active intellect - a very demanding audience indeed."

  7. Not quite what you're looking for, but I seem to recall that the 'What is AD&D'-ish prefatory material of the 1st ed Player's Handbook (or was it the DMG?) saying something like 'In this game, Bob and Mary from the office become a wizard and an paladin' or some such. I recall being very confused by this as a kid, since cubicle-land was a more foreign realm than Greyhawk.

  8. IMO Gygax did indeed intend people like himself - adults who were already wargamers - to be the main audience for D&D. I think this is reflected in the writing style of the 1st edition books. It wasn't until the '82 basic set that a version of D&D was released that seemed to tacitly concede that many (most?) of the players would be in junior high or high school.