My friend John alerted me that there is a new website where one can purchase pdf downloads of out-of-print Dungeons & Dragons publications. As a former D&D player, the site generates a great deal of interest in me. Part of it is nostalgia for items that I remember from my younger years. But a bigger part is curiosity about all the things that I have never seen before, because evidently there was a lot more published for D&D than what I could find at the local Toys R Us when I was in sixth grade.
My attempts to play D&D never seemed to work out the way that I wanted. (Playing a full and enjoyable D&D campaign remains an item on my bucket list.) In my experience, the problem with Dungeons & Dragons is that, in order to play it in a satisfying manner, one needs both maturity and free time, which vary in inverse proportion over the course of one's life. I started playing D&D in middle school, when my friends and I had lots of free time to play, but very little maturity; as a result, our games tended to fall apart or break down into pointless arguments. I played some in high school, when people were more grown up, but it was harder to find time to play And I even played a little in college; at that point, the other players and I were mature enough that I felt that I was finally playing the game the way that it should be played. But the responsibilities and opportunities of college life took up too much of our time to allow for much D&D; our gaming group only got together two or three times.
I wonder if, in thirty or forty years, we'll start seeing people in nursing homes playing Dungeons & Dragons, in the way that today's nursing home inhabitants might play bridge.