Geekery comes in many forms. Computers. Cars. Gadgets. Video games. Movies. Comics. And of course, roleplaying. And when you talk about roleplaying, the word “D&D” — short for Dungeons & Dragons — is an automatic mention.
Count me as a roleplaying geek, a D&D freak. Because I live in a country not agog over roleplaying games (RPGs) and 8-sided dices, I greatly treasure the objects that enable me to connect with this geekery of mine, objects regularly flown all the way from the U.S. to my land of seven thousand islands (no kidding).
I’m talking about magazines; more specifically, the Dragon and Dungeon duo, two of the most venerable and valuable D&D/fantasy RPG journals out there. Dragon was first published in 1976, while its partner (my favorite of the two, and always out of stock in the few shops that sell D&D stuff here) was born a decade later.
Sadly, 2007 will be the last year for both publications. Last April, gaming giant Wizards of the Coast announced that Paizo (erstwhile holder of the magazines’ publishing rights) will cease to publish the pair. Reason: WotC deems the Internet to be the medium that would broaden the reach of their content.
Sure, I see the sense in their reasoning. After all, I am an active denizen of the Net, and I very much understand the power of this medium. Heck, it will probably be even easier for me now to get my monthly dose of fantasy RPG, because one mouse click travels infinitely faster than the plane which carries D&D goodies from the States to Asia.
However, I’ve never been one to like e-books. Printed paper still does the trick for me, and that’s the same with magazines. To actually hold, caress, and — yes, smell! — the fresh-off-the-press paper is an experience I relish. Not to mention that there’s nothing magical about collecting virtual magazine issues in your hard disk.
It goes without saying that Dragon and Dungeon‘s imminent decease is quite a tragic chapter in my life as a geek. Looks like my mag backlogs will be a thing of the past.
Now, in times of grief, what does one do? Receive shopping therapy. So I dusted off my rarely-used credit cards and ordered ten back issues that are sure to get out of print, soon. (With a limited edition dragon miniature thrown in, to get my pricey shipping’s worth.)
If you’re a fellow RPG and D&D fan with a couple of missing gems from your Dragon and Dungeon chest, you might want to check out Paizo’s back issue list before the stocks go poof.
I’m still holding out hope that WotC changes heart even in the next year or so, and decides to renew the life of both print mags. But because business decisions seem to be stubborn ones (or are they?), it looks like my hope is as forlorn as the Forlorn Hope!
P.S. Check out this engaging discussion at the Dragon messageboards regarding the magazines’ demise, fans’ reactions, and of course, WotC’s motives.