When you think of Lake Geneva Wisconsin you probably think of relaxing pastoral images. An idyllic escape that's close enough for a day trip but far enough to feel like you actually went somewhere.

You probably think of this.

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Or the beautiful Ice Castles that are a huge tourist attraction in the winter.

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Getty Images/iStockphoto

While it's a wonderful place to get away for a weekend, it should probably be more well known for being the birthplace of one of the most popular board games of all time. Dungeons and Dragons.

A man by the name of Gary Gygax is credited as being the inventor of the role playing game.

Wikipedia -  In 1977, Gygax began work on a more comprehensive version of the game, called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax designed numerous manuals for the game system, as well as several pre-packaged adventures called "modules" that gave a person running a D&D game (the "Dungeon Master") a rough script and ideas on how to run a particular gaming scenario. In 1983, he worked to license the D&D product line into the successful D&D cartoon series.

When Dungeons and Dragons was released in the late 70s and early 80s it was swept up in the Satanic Panic that was sweeping the nation and was labeled as an evil game that would be a gateway to devil worshipping and murder.

Truly an amazing video.

When Dungeons and Dragons wasn't fighting against the stereotype of devil worship, it was ironically fighting another stereotype, that it was just for nerds.

It was the geeks who played DnD in Freaks and Geeks, and the castoffs in Stranger Things that got into the role playing game.

Then something happened about 5 years ago. Dungeons and Dragons started to become cool.

2019 saw the biggest number of starter sets sold all time and there are countless YouTube videos on the subject. The biggest of which is the Critical Role series that sees millions of views for their 3-4 hour weekly episodes.

A lot of this has to do with "nerds" getting older and having the kind of money and time to spend on fascinations of their youth. And a lot of it has to to with it being a really good time.

I myself was invited into a Dungeons and Dragons group about a year ago with some other first timers and it's been an absolute blast. We try to get together at least once a month and I don't see us stopping anytime soon.


We've talked about making a "pilgrimage" to Lake Geneva to play a game and visit the Dungeons and Dragons museum. It's literally too close not to do it.

If it's something you've ever considered doing, reach out to someone you know that is into it or might be interested themselves. The one thing I've definitely discovered is that the community is extremely welcoming and pretty much everyone that's tried it walked away with at least having a good time if not discovering a new hobby.

Thanks Mr. Gygax for your creation. Millions of "dorks' appreciate it.

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