Talk:Dave Arneson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good article Dave Arneson has been listed as one of the Sports and recreation good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
June 9, 2009 Good article nominee Listed


Why is there none? 05:28, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Year of birth is also definitely wrong; as is evident in citation [1], he was 55 years old -at the time of that interview- (which given the post date, could be no later than 2004), which would make his year of birth 1949 at latest. He was also first published in the Avalon Hill General in 1965 (volume 2 number 3) - barely possible if he was born in 1949, ludicrous if he was born in 1955. I suspect someone got 1955 by carelessly copying "55 years old". contains the following:

09-30-06, 05:02 PM Today is Dave Arneson's 59th birthday.

Note that this assertion is confirmed on that page by Dustin Clingman, who works closely with Arneson. I consider that definitive.

2006 - 59 = 1947, so there we have September 30, 1947. A much more plausible date for publication in AHG v2n3 than 1955. Decompiler 10:57, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

A better link for this same source might: Exact time of the ENWorld post might be hard to establish; LJ gives Kevin Mayle's home timezone as East Coast USA, which gives a better indication of the timezone in which the word "today" is to be understood. Decompiler 22:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Year of GenCon[edit]

"Arneson attended the Gen Con gaming convention for the first time in 1970, which was only its second annual meeting."

Something needs to be changed in this sentence, as both the Gen Con article and the Gary Gygax article say that GenCon started officially in 1968, making 1970 it's third outing, not the second. Does anyone have the correct information for this? 16:32, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I think this is just an error. All the sources I've seen have them correctly meeting in 1970, and the convention starting in 68. I changed it to "third." (See:, which doesn't have the number but has the dates.)

Still not quite right, I think. From the Foreword to D.G.U.T.S. (Gygax/Arneson, intro by Gygax 1 October 1975): "During 1968 I began to gather material [towards DGUTS]... it wasn't until next year at the Lake Geneva wargames convention that things began moving again. There, Dave Arneson displayed some of his 1:1200 sailing ship models...." So, "next year" from 1968 = 1969. 1968 was indeed the first year of GenCon, and Gygax and Arneson did meet in the second annual GenCon - but that was 1969, not 1970. Since this text was written by Gygax much closer to the date the meeting than later interview sources, I'm inclined to follow it. Moreover, the gamespy article cited above has some sketchy dates (for example, it suggests a 1971 publishing date for DGUTS instead of 1972, the actual date of the first Guidon publication). The associated GameSpy interview with Arneson contains the following tell-tale mistake:

GameSpy: What was the first GenCon you went to? Arneson: Number two. GameSpy: That would have been in 1970? Arneson: I believe that was the one, yes.

Which leads me to believe that it was the interviewer who promulgated the erroneous idea that GenCon II was in 1970.

So, reverting it back to "second" and "1969". Decompiler 10:57, 28 June 2007 (UTC)


Is this really important to the article:

It all began with "Lets Pretend".
And lots of WCCO TV Saturday afternoon 'B' monster movies.
(MST3K also started here in Minnesota, not a coincidence.)


This thing reads horribly. Any objections if I attempt a rewrite? Kythri 01:45, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

If this was rewritten, it's still really, really badly done. Many of the sentences under "Blackmoor", for instance, barely make sense. 04:50, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Citations badly needed![edit]

This article makes a large number of not-generally-known and completely uncited details. Perhaps most notably, the article places the lion's share of credit for the development of modern role-playing games with Arneson. While it may be correct, it's a bold claim and requires supporting evidence. More aggressive editors than I would be tempted to delete the majority of the article. — Alan De Smet | Talk 04:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I've flagged a bunch of claims with "[citation needed]". If they're still uncited after a while, I'll just delete them. Note that if the only citations we can find are from Arneson himself (in the form of his own writing or interviews), we'll need to rewrite the claims in the form "Arneson claims". — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Revert of Gygax and Kask challenging Arneson's contributions[edit]

I reverted this edit. I originally did so because I overlooked the actual text addition; my apologies. However, upon reviewing the provided citation, it's pretty unconvincing. I'm not seeing Gygax saying anything (he may be there, but what's his username?). "kaskoid", on the other hand, does say things, and the evidence (especially the thread name) does suggest that he is Kask. But what does he say? Not much. He couches his claims is a goofy metaphor. He's not willing to come out and clearly state the situation and attach names. If Kask isn't willing to make a clear statement, why should we try to guess what he means? — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:46, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Mind you, if you can find a another reasonably reliable source that read Kask's claims and came to the same conclusions, you could cite that other source.
this sort of sucks. I corresponded with Gary quite a bit during his last decade, and we talked about this on occasion. Kask is overstating things a bit, but the Wiki article just isn't right, either. Dave tried to integrate his game with Chainmail, had problems, so he and Gary got together and did it. Dave didn't restrict himself to fantasy elements, and Gary didn't restrict himself to miniatures rules; the two of them working together came up with the pamphlets. I attempted to talk to Mr. Arneson about this, and the only response I got was "I really don't remember" (it was in the late 90's), but he didn't seem upset about what i was saying, either. regardless, the current article is misleading.Paganize (talk) 08:24, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this is the way that Wikipedia works--it's not a collection of personal recollections, but a compendium of sourced and referenced knowledge. If you can back up your personal anecdotes with a published source--on-line or magazine interview, published history of gaming, etc--then by all means make the article more accurate.Guinness323 (talk) 17:38, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


I don't have a strong source to go on, so I won't update the main page, but Mr. Arneson appears to have been hospitalized with cancer (orig. forum link). -Miskaton (talk) 04:39, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I have deleted the new information about Arneson's apparently declining health. While I believe it likely to be true, a forum post on a public forum by someone identifying themselves solely as "Finarvyn" is not a gold standard reliable source. I'm very open minded about reliable sources, and I'm more open to forum posts than the guidelines and policies recommend and allow. However, I believe the Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons policy is vitally important. We need to be absolutely certain for anything of import, and the fact that Arneson may be dying is the sort of important thing we need to be careful with. If it's true, this will be widely reported in a few days, perhaps a few weeks. We can add it then. There is no need to hurry; we're crafting an encyclopedia, not a newspaper. (We went through this same situation with Gygax's passing. The first news was on forums, and while accurate it was best for the article to not say anything until highly reliable sources reported it.) So please wait until there are reliable sources about Arneson's health before re-adding it. — Alan De Smet | Talk 22:43, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I absolutely agree - this article is poorly sourced enough as it is. Sad thing is, we might not get some reliable information about his health until he goes the way Gygax went. :( (talk) 22:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Which cancer did he die of? Nietzsche 2 (talk) 14:19, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Good question - I'm not sure if we know yet? BOZ (talk) 03:58, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Alleged death[edit]

Today, April 7th, we lost a legend. I updated the page to reflect this.Piuro (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

  • He is not dead yet. At least, there is no official, reliable source saying so at this time of writing. Please don't jump the gun here by adding a death date until you can find multiple sources saying that the guy is dead. Dave Arneson and his family have enough contacts in the game industry, who have collectively a very active and very visible presence on the web, that there will be many sources to cite if and when he dies. Right now, we're just making knee-jerk reactions here because the site is not a reliable source; that site cites no sources of its own and has no bylines so it's little better than a blog. A lizard (talk) 19:52, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Changed in light of recent events — A lizard (talk) 04:28, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Shouldn't we template this page now as "about a current event" - also - I'm not entirely sure that is an authoritative source ... no idea who actually runs it? The news could be correct, but I don't think it should be reported on Wikipedia until a more official source breaks the story. (infrequent wiki editor, not signed up for an account yet) (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:26, 7 April 2009 (UTC).
James Maliszewski, who runs the website Grognardia and was in contact with Arneson has reported as such as well. No idea when anything official will come out though. -- g026r (talk) 18:45, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Turns out I was wrong, and he may not have been in contact. Definitely not an official/reliable source then. -- g026r (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Twitter from Atomic Overmind[1] and Mike Stackpole[2] indicate that Mr. Arneson has not died. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:38, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
In other words: information is a mess, and nobody's certain what's what. Agreed on leaving as is until a reliable source surfaces. -- g026r (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I've requested that this page be temporarily semi-protected. –Drilnoth (TC) 20:29, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Standard procedure until we get an official source or two confirming his death; otherwise we'll be reverting it every five seconds. HalfShadow 20:37, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
D'oh! BOZ (talk) 22:45, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, at least there's some good news. –Drilnoth (TC) 22:58, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Sadly, he has passed on, as of last night, shortly after 11 PM Central time. A statement was released by his family to a number of gaming related websites, including the Grognardia blog.

CBeilby (talk) 06:31, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Semi-protected for three days[edit]

That should be long enough. By then, we should have official word as to whether he's dead or if the rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated. HalfShadow 20:53, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good. –Drilnoth (TC) 21:20, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Andrew Hackard has cononfirmed that he is at least hospitlized[1] but has stated those that would be contacted and update have not been[2] --Roguebfl (talk) 22:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Please see my thoughts on the matter here. BOZ (talk) 22:20, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Agreed and updated status, as above. Article still needs more article, however, and further copyediting in addition to that I've just carried out. Regards, David. Harami2000 (talk) 22:23, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

His death is now confirmed by his family. Copies of the message: HNowell (talk) 22:54, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Oh my; this is a sad day. Well, somebody can add it to the article I guess... would you say that that's a reliable source? –Drilnoth (TC) 23:01, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Would say so this time, sadly... Not going to be any repeat of what happened yesterday re. sourcing information. Harami2000 (talk) 23:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah... that's the site who got it wrong in the first place, but this doesn't look like a mistake. (I'm not going to get all "boy who cried wolf" on him either.) BOZ (talk) 12:41, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Please keep an eye on this one[edit]

Hey there. Please keep an eye on this article to make sure it's got the most accurate information possible. When Gary died, as I have mentioned elsewhere, some newspapers were lifting bits from his Wikipedia article, and in some cases quite liberally. Last thing we want is misinformation spread because of us. Thanks. BOZ (talk) 12:43, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Certainly. The semi-protection should help, but that'll expire soon. –Drilnoth (TC) 12:54, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Yep... But first get the newspapers interested, eh? (Working on it...). Arneson =/= Gygax for whatever reason...
"Most accurate" possible would be nice, but it's better than it was, thankfully. Besides, EGG's article is GA-rated and still has some major, long-time perpetuated factual errors such the para with the Fantasy Supplement not appearing until the 2nd edition of Chainmail (an important error, given the actual timeline leading up to D&D). Regards, David. Harami2000 (talk) 13:07, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
As an aside to the previous, how far are we off "B-class" now, btw? RPG-side seems to have just about the toughest grading, I appreciate, but a sensible question to ask just now given that "quality" (whatever that means!) might be deemed important and/or misunderstood compared with "reliability" in sourcing content at present. Harami2000 (talk) 13:21, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Good point; assessed to B-Class.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Drilnoth (talkcontribs) 13:30, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Awards and honors[edit]

Any chance of getting this tribute on there? Katana Geldar 22:49, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Tributes are fine; see how we handled them on Gary Gygax's article for an example. BOZ (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I've put three that I'm aware of and that I believe are themselves notable sites (all three have articles). I agree with BOZ; I think Gygax's "Awards and honors" section is a great example that we should emulate. — Alan De Smet | Talk 02:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed completely. –Drilnoth (TC) 02:47, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I've taken the liberty of splitting this section. Has discussion and agreement already taken place elsewhere on such "Awards and Honors" either across the whole of wikipedia or within a given "project"? These are more than slightly tacky, both in content and timing, IMO, and to use EGG as a precedent, does that mean that /everyone/ in the RPG world should receive such a section as soon as they are dead?
Has it been agreed in what way those are actual recognised rather than relative "Awards" or "Honors" which /merit/ encylopedic mention, not merely fanboyish listings of everything that's perceived to be such in an "egoboost" manner to both the party "awarding" the honor (must they be listed in Wikipedia to be capable of "making an award"?) and the (potentially unwilling?) recipient? Harami2000 (talk) 04:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
That Arneson just died is irrelevant. If there are awards and tributes, such a section is appropriate. Of course, Arneson's death tends to get people paying attention to the article, and it tends to get a tributes created, so such a section is more likely to appear or be fleshed out. (I'm pretty sure Gygax's matching section existed prior to his death; it simply got heavily expanded after his death.) If we get a glut of them, or some are especially silly ("Random Person X posted a tribute to Arneson on his blog"), yeah, we'll need to consider some sort of guidelines, but I believe what we have at the moment (a major corporation in the field, along with two major comics in the field) is appropriate. — Alan De Smet | Talk 16:30, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
An award or an honor from a recognised body that can confer such may be encyclopedic, but what makes a tribute from a single individual so? Such quality control guidelines should already exist somewhere on wikipedia, I presume.
With regards to /tributes/, yes it's highly relevant that a figure has just died since that's when the majority of tributes appear (for such individuals). Doesn't help that "Honor" is deemed synonymous with "Tribute", I guess... Harami2000 (talk) 06:19, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I used "Awards and honors" because I pinched it from Gary Gygax as a template. I believe honors could reasonably be inclusive of tributes, and it suggests that any more honors and awards added belong there. I think the tributes provide a bit of context on Arneson's import to the field; he was considered important enough that two notable comics and a corporation in the field made the tribute, something none of them regularly do. — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:34, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion to change wording[edit]

"...using archetypal devices such as adventuring..." --> "...using now-archetypal devices such as adventuring..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Good suggestion as to tense, thanks: the original wording kinda jarred but my head couldn't do any better at the time. Now rewritten more clearly in line with suggestion. Harami2000 (talk) 01:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Proper citation needed[edit]

When I read this article the following paragraph was unsourced:

It was with Wesely and other members of the MMSA that he helped develop the foundations of modern role-playing games on a 1:1 scale basis with non-combat objectives for each player; a step away from wargaming towards the more individual play and varied challenges of later RPGs.

It's probably true, but it does not quite match the details in Fine (2002:13) so I think it needs a cite per WP:CITE and WP:BURDEN. Hence I attached a Fact template. That template was subsequently removed so I re-attached it. It was replaced by a citation of a blog, which doesn't appear to satisfy WP:SOURCES. I've attached a dubious tag to it. Sorry for the difficulty.—RJH (talk) 17:34, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

You tagged with "Fact" and the wrong year (hence why I missed it, since you raised that point on my talk page rather than here in the first instance) twice, so I added that source ( ). Citing the blog is AOK in my book since, as you can see, that is the "official" Braunstein blog, with original Braunstein content and participants, to which Wesely is a regular contributor. If the observation regarding Arneson was not true from his p.o.v., I trust he would have corrected it.
I don't think you should be make assumptions about whether Arneson was performing fact checking on a blog, or whether he would have corrected the assertion. Could you explain who Braunstein is and why his or her opinion carries any academic weight? To me a blog is just an opinion piece by one person. It is hardly an academic journal.
The statement in the text is broadly encompassing and requires stronger evidence than just an opinion from a blog. The text is asserting that this period established the foundations for role-playing. This is a pretty broad claim, so I think it needs solid, unquestionable evidence.—RJH (talk) 23:03, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Reading back; to clarify, the blog is a summary of Wesely's own presentations at GenCon and he himself is posting further down in reply; hence it's clear there's no "misinterpretation" of what he said about his own games in which Dave Arneson participated. Hence "Wesely asserts...", which is backed up by Dave Arneson's interview in Different Worlds #3 of the same event from his angle. There was no academic journal present at that event, so getting the information from the individuals involved and knowing that that does fit into the chain of events from leading from wargaming to Blackmoor is about as good as we can do, I'd've thought, unless we can also trace down a reference from the first Blackmoor participant to show that was a "role-playing" game at that point. Unfortunately Greg Svenson's pages ( ) went off-line recently but again that's personal recollection rather than an academic journal.
There is no person called "Braunstein"; that's the name Wesely gave to his games. Harami2000 (talk) 00:43, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Could you explain those "details in Fine (2002:13)" (available online?) that differ, please. Cheers, David. Harami2000 (talk) 17:51, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
The Fine piece merely stated that Arneson was engaged in wargaming with figures representing single characters, and he introduced a special case of a Druid magically slaying an Elephant. I am unclear how one can make the leap from that to establishing the basis for role-playing, and Fine would certainly seem to carry more academic weight than a blog. All I wanted was to see was stronger evidence for the point being made.—RJH (talk) 23:03, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I've taken care of the issue by adding a citation. Thank you for the responses.—RJH (talk) 23:21, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
@RJH - awaiting a reply, please, as I can see that you've made multiple edits to other articles since my comment above and it's you who's forcing a point of order here.
Correct, I was expecting to get back to it in a few days. I didn't realize there was such a hurry to address this concern. My apologies.—RJH (talk) 23:03, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, didn't spot this line, sorry... Apologies for the rush but was a bit of a hurry given the event timing and that the press were blatantly cribbing the article for "facts" since they couldn't be bothered to look elsewhere. As this paragraph is a key-point in the development of RPGs I was trying to obtain resolution one way or another asap rather than having a "dubious" stuck on the end. Was more than happy to compromise depending on your other sources and if there was something that /really/ threw the spanner in the works, to retract wholesale/re-evaluate. Thanks (& apologies) again, David. Harami2000 (talk) 03:55, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
As you can see in WP:SOURCES, blogs are not (contrary to your edit) /always/ "not acceptable" and the clearly-stated primary reason for caution is that "Anyone can create a website... then claim to be an expert in a certain field".
You are using hyperbole in order to refute my point. I merely asserted that this blog did not appear to satisfy WP:SOURCE; not that all blogs are always non-acceptible.
There is no such third-party "claim" in this case as it is directly sourced from and confirmed by the original individual (Wesely) who ran these games, and the production of this widely-disseminated blog nearly a year ago had led to a greater degree of "peer review" than almost any newspaper article would obtain prior to publication.
Obviously, the press was not standing behind Wesely, Arneson and co. whilst they were playing their Braunsteins ~40 years ago, but neither do I believe that a published book by someone who wasn't there is necessarily going to be "more accurate".
If you have a disenting view from a source that I have not seen, it would be preferred if you note that "in article" alongside Wesely's own assertion since that particular "throw away the rulebook" session by Arneson /as a player in Wesely's game/ was one of the key developments in modern RPGs and requires to be expounded/explained. Regards, David. Harami2000 (talk) 23:44, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I would just like to be clear here that the burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. It is not necessary for me to post contrary views in order to question a fact. Nonetheless, I don't want to be obstructive here; I would just like to see solid citations to back up the facts. If you have something from a widely-published commercial book, that would be more than satisfactory. Thank you.RJH (talk) 23:08, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm a fan of the ars ludi blog, I believe the story to be true, and I err on the side of including sources. But I think in this case it's probably a doomed citation. ars ludi and its author are essentially unknowns with no direct connection to the original Braunstein. I'm not aware of Wesely having confirmed the story anywhere that is itself a reasonably reliable source. If such a confirmation existed, I would support such a citation, although we'd need to be careful in our phrasing ("Major Wesely claims that..."). (I would recommend a bit more patience when waiting for a reply from RJH. A day or two to get back is very reasonable. There are lots of good reasons to not get back to a particular talk thread for a while; I do it myself. If you really want to poke someone on Wikipedia, their personal talk page is the best place, since they get a little notification whenever they visit Wikipedia. But I'd at least give RJH a full day before pushing, probably two or three.)
Agreed, and I was planning on waiting a day or two even though I was reasonably sure RJH is watching closely since we've already gone around this twice (per the note left on my own talk page).
I've already changed the article text to make it clear that "Wesely asserts that it was" since the article itself is a summary of Wesely's own public presentations and Wesely does not make any corrections in his own replies there.
IMHO something "moving from water onto dry land" (i.e. not a small step -- in the /specific/ chain of development leading to D&D/"modern RPGs", in this case) does require to be noted and if there's no perfect, cast-iron citation for a specific event, then whatever is "best available" (possibly more than one, even conflicting sources) should be utilised within their context rather than instituting a blanket policy of "inadequate" based on a slanted reading of WP:SOURCES where any newspaper article is deemed more accurate and can be utilised at will whereas a blog even with what is, in effect, peer review, cannot. (Somewhat ironic in this case, given that newspaper "sources" are continuing to spread the misinformation about Arneson direct from WotC without any peer review - even as far as the BBC; )
Simply deleting all mention of "water onto dry land" events (events, not people) because of such a reading is a potential disservice to the public and leaves the way open for actual false statements to be inserted into that vacuum (such as off the back of WotC's poorly worded claims on Arneson's behalf after he can no longer refute them). Harami2000 (talk) 03:49, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Have added the Different Worlds #3 interview relating to the same "leafleting" episode, later asserted as "proto-player" behavior by Wesely, and others in that timeframe. Retaining blog as that has a considerable amount of additional background information from Wesely himself, even if that could be read as not being /perfectly/ in sync on side issues (e.g. Arneson not thinking he'd won the game, Wesely leaving that somewhat open with his "plus several thousand points" comment which may be as much him throwing his hands up in the air, not knowing quite what to do when Arneson "broke the rules")/. More than happy to leave the blog ref. as "Wesely asserts that it was...", however, even if that's now also "Arneson asserts..." coming from his angle/recollection p.o.v. Regards, David. Harami2000 (talk) 18:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

@RJHall : Many thanks for digging out the additional citation to support the other two refs. in order to remove that tag. Harami2000 (talk) 00:18, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

"Dave" in opening paragraph[edit]

Should the first paragraph begin, "David "Dave" Lance Arneson (October 1..."? That is, explicitly noting that Arneson is widely known as "Dave". It's currently the title of the article (and understandably; I expect most people will search for it) and as the title of the infobox. But I usually expect to have the exact article title in the opening, or at least a clear idea of why the title and the opening bold don't match. — Alan De Smet | Talk 03:44, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. –Drilnoth (TC) 12:04, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Please note[edit]

People are looking at this article; whatever is added will be seen by someone. We have to constantly make sure that this article is free of vandalism and misinformation. I'm guessing that we all kind of knew that already, but here's some evidence: Last month's hit count statistics totaled 2583. As of yesterday, we already have 61488 this month. –Drilnoth (TC) 17:06, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Over 100,000 and there are still a few days left in the month! April 10th got nearly 30,000 hits alone. BOZ (talk) 04:00, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
You know, I actually looked at some other statistics. On the 10th, this page actually got more hits than Barack Obama. Wow. I reckon that it's going to top Dungeons & Dragons in the April page hit counts! –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 13:59, 22 April 2009 (UTC)


found this, if no one's seen it and has the time to see if there's any useful info there. BOZ (talk) 18:18, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Good spot, thanks. Much that has been stated elsewhere (e.g. the d20s in the UK story) and I'm not personally sure about placing total confidence in a late interview with regards to /precise/ details decades before (e.g. "I think we used that for two games" re. Chainmail) owing to events in the intervening years and that Gary Gygax's recollections from the other side were also "fuzzy"/contradictory at times.
Dave's comments and belief in "balanced games" has also been stated elsewhere but may be worth noting in context of his "thoughts/beliefs on roleplaying" - which could be a separate (and potentially interesting/useful) section, even if that would need to encompass changes in "thoughts" over a four decade timeframe.
Still doesn't explain why he let John Snider get away with purple dragons (and many other colors) in the original Blackmoor campaign, though: and we all know what happens when that slippery slope begins. ^^ Cheers, David. Harami2000 (talk) 18:31, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Fixed potentially huge misunderstanding following check to another source. Dave's definition of "balanced game" is very specific. q.v.

Policy on Images[edit]

I looked high and low beforehand for a specific policy on book images in WP biographies (and indeed some /do/ have those), but could not find one to show those were not permitted at all. Out of 60,000+ views since those were uploaded including many WP admins, that's one unilateral decision to delete all images without prior discussion. Could you please point to the policy and explain in what way an author's two primary works are "not significant"? (And the third work is also referred in body text, but requiring several dead tree citations still for that context). Thanks, David. Harami2000 (talk) 00:15, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with J Milburn on this one... although I may not fully agree with Wikipedia's policies on use of non-free images, consensus at WP:NFCC would be against the use of book covers except in the article about the book or when the covers are being specifically discussed. Of the various criteria, I'd say that #8 would apply to the book covers as they were presented in the article. Essentially, I think that the use of the images is beneficial to the article, but not using them isn't detrimental, either. –Drilnoth (TC) 01:37, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Mhmm... thanks for the thoughts. I can see where that's coming from, but in the case of books that would not stand alone as separate articles and end up merged back into the author's page, what's the stance? And I can see "notability" flags being raised on those if they were made (needlessly, IMHO) into separate articles.
Second thought was that those /are/ beneficial to the understanding of the article as they give a flavor and visual cue as to "what the person is about" as well as being physical representations of their actual work.
There is, for example, an illustration of Pennsylvania Hospital on Benjamin Franklin's article, but that in no way "increase(s) readers' understanding of" Benjamin Franklin, although it gives a flavor and cue to search the text. Besides, the hospital already has an article of its own. IMHO, showing the primary works of an author gives a similar, or better, "flavor" for that individual than a few additional photographs would if there's already a photograph in the header. Likewise, say that plaque dedicated to Gary Gygax, which doesn't really seem to add anything much at all about him.
Just seemed rather strange to have 60,000+ views with no other objects and then one single unilateral admin deletion, leaving the entire article as a featureless, rather unappetising blob of text. JM-02c, anyhow, but would still very much prefer to have such /relevant/ images. David. Harami2000 (talk) 02:03, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Both the hospital and plaque images are free images, however, and that's what makes the difference. If the book covers were free, they could be used without any problems. At this point, I'd say that maybe having one book cover might be okay (not positive, though), and then maybe having a free image to go with it (File:Gary Gygax Gen Con 2007.JPG? Their histories are really interwoven, so it might make sense). Then it wouldn't be the giant block o' text like it is now. –Drilnoth (TC) 02:19, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Nice thought re. Gary, if I'm reading you correctly, although perhaps not unless a photo can be found of them together? (Regardless of their history before/after).
Anyhow, I'm still not 100% sure on the reading there as to why book images are AOK on an actual book article but not the author's article if there are no books split into self-standing, notable articles; or why the image of a book somehow "increase(s) readers' understanding of the topic" any more on the former than the latter (as implied by the "simply not significant. They are not discussed and add little to the article" deletion text), but I'm glad however-many editors and admins there were out of those 60,000+ article views also don't understand fully the in-depth rules, if that is indeed stated in the rules implicitly or explicitly. Harami2000 (talk) 02:42, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that it's really in the rules, but it does seem to be general consensus for biographies (which is to say, I've seen it quite a bit at FAC and GAN). –Drilnoth (TC) 02:55, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah... somewhat unwritten rules, then? Would explain to me why no-one else pulled the trigger, if so.
Yeah, I've seen similar (lack of illustration of author's works on bio pages) at those "higher levels", but by then there are usually sub-pages for each work and those /do/ merit such far more clearly. Personally, I'd rather see many appealing B-class author articles aiming for A-class with a small number of relevant pics of their key works clearly indicating their genre, etc., (if not on separate pages!) rather than stripping out visual content and leaving as lump text for the sake of aiming for FA/GA way down the line. Still 02c, anyhow. :) Harami2000 (talk) 03:17, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that nobody else pulled the trigger because a lot of them probably A) don't really care one way or the other (like me in this instance), B) They don't know how to edit the wiki, or C) They don't really know our fair-use policies. Personally, I think that at this point we should bring it up at WP:MCQ rather than going around in circles here. –Drilnoth (TC) 12:35, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

A key thing to remember about non-free images on Wikipedia is that Wikipedia is extremely cautious about them. Wikipedia is relying on fair use to not get sued (although the DMCA helps). Fair use is a fuzzy guideline. So like many publishers, Wikipedia is erring on the side of caution. I can see one possible argument for the removal: the covers don't really represent Arneson's creation. To my knowledge, he didn't create the art for them. All he contributed was the title, as we can represent that in text just fine. Seeing the cover doesn't really tell us much about Arneson. So it's not essential, so it should go. Me, I think it's paranoid, but it's not a fight I'm planning on taking up. — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Yeah, the covers themselves are mostly (entirely?) decorative. They are adding nothing in particular to the article- if they genuinely were important, they would be discussed in the prose. Obviously, the idea of discussing the cover of the book in the article on the author when the covers are not even his work would be, in almost all cases, ridiculous, and that's why we don't include them. The difference between the author article and the book article seems fairly clear to me- seeing the cover of a book in an article on that book does increase your understanding of the topic (the book) but it doesn't really increase your understanding in any significant way of the author. I mean, he could have hypothetically had no say in what the cover art was, instead leaving that issue to the publishers. If you want a third opinion regarding this issue, the best place to raise it would be the non-free content talk page, but I really wouldn't waste your time. This one seems to be pretty clear- the covers are adding practically nothing, and should not be included. If we're not even going to cover the books in their own articles, then I don't think it's a great loss if we aren't going to keep their covers on our servers. J Milburn (talk) 10:46, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Oh, and I wouldn't be opposed to adding the image of Gygax (I'd support it). Add whatever free images you want to, even if they only illustrate something mentioned in passing. That's an issue for talk page consensus rather than any appeal to central policy. J Milburn (talk) 10:49, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Partial Bibliography as list[edit]

I'm aware of that general "prose" policy, but is that really totally unbending? A /summary/ of more important works in chronological order (unfortunately?) looks better as a list than as a mash of prose spread through the whole article where the reader has to look to-and-fro between sections of the body text and the references below. So long as that was kept relatively short, that seemed fine -- compare with the likes of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke which are both overlong and unflagged, especially considering these already have subpages. Thoughts? Harami2000 (talk) 00:27, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Having checked WP:LOW following an observation in Talk:Arthur C. Clarke about previous unilateral deletion of the selected bibliography list there, the MoS indicates that lists are AOK in this context and gives Henry James (currently a Featured Article) as an example. What precisely is "problem" here?
Personally, having no such list for Gary Gygax is a bit of a negative even if many of his works /can/ be found somewhere in the article text, albeit without any indication as to which might be worthy of "selection". Cheers, David. Harami2000 (talk) 00:53, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Okay; I wasn't really aware of any policy and just found the list kind of jarring right in between the "death" and "tributes" section. Maybe I'll just move some sections around, then it should be good. –Drilnoth (TC) 01:32, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
The WP "manual" is /too/ large, IMHO. But most of it's still good, I guess. Thanks for double-checking. Harami2000 (talk) 01:47, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed on that point. :) –Drilnoth (TC) 01:52, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Good Article?[edit]

What do you say, looking good enough to give it a try? :) It doesn't usually have to be perfect when you nominate, because a decent reviewer will give you time to fix the article if we're not talking earth-shattering fixes needed. I'm going to build up the lead a bit, as I kind of consider this my specialty. ;) Unless anyone has any strong objections, I'd like to nominate this week some time. BOZ (talk) 03:56, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that it's about ready for GAN. I'm a little concerned about the "After TSR" section's referencing, but otherwise I'd say "go for it!" –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 16:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Excellent! All a part of my evil plan... ;) BOZ (talk) 17:13, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
... ???
Anyway, I'll probably be able to work on the reference formatting problems over the next few days (no, really! :) )... a number of them need publisher information or accessdates, as well as other formatting (such as putting all of the dates in the same format). –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 17:41, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
If I told you my evil plan I'd have to kill you! :) The real question is, do I actually have an evil plan or am I being silly? :) OK man, do what you gotta do and make this one the best it can be. BOZ (talk) 19:40, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Arneson had an interview in Dragon #249; I'll try to get a look at my CD-rom archives tonight if possible. :) BOZ (talk) 23:58, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

He was also interviewed by Kobold Quarterly for the Spring 2009 issue (the editor Twittered the day after Arneson died that it was his last-ever interview), and the print edition arrived in my mailbox just after Arneson's death. You can find the interview at It actually has some material I've never seen anywhere else (e.g. the original Castle Blackmoor was a plastic model that he bought at a hobby store. He thought it was a German castle for some reason and discovered later that it was actually an Italian castle. He came up with the idea of never-ending levels of dungeons underneath the castle because the plastic model didn't have the space he needed for the adventures he had in mind for his players...) I've used it as a source for my ever-lengthening Greyhawk article. (Got to get out the pruning shears soon.)Guinness323 (talk) 01:30, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Great find! That's amazing timing. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 01:54, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed! Please contribute. :) That could only help... BOZ (talk) 04:24, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

DA set of modules: Dates don't match up[edit]

In the article, it currently sez: "Arneson briefly returned to "Blackmoor" and D&D in the mid 1980s when Gygax became president of TSR. This production yielded the "DA" (Dave Arneson) series of Blackmoor modules. When a new president after Gygax took control of TSR, Arneson was removed from the company before the fifth module was published. Gygax and Arneson again went their separate ways."

However the dates don't seem to match up. Gygax was forced out of TSR on 31 Dec 1985. Two of the DA modules were published in 1986, and the other two in 1987. Either the mods were written before Gygax left, and then printed up to two years after he left, or the mods were written and published after Gygax left. But being part of TSR and then being forced out when Gygax left, why would TSR publish his mods anyway? <scratches head> Is it possible Arneson just forgot the sequence of events? He is fairly vague in that part of the interview.Guinness323 (talk) 06:32, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

There does seem to be a good bit of date confusion surrounding D&D's history... for example, I have two print sources that conflict about which Gen Con Gygax met Arneson at. I'm not really sure what should be done. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 12:26, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Include both, with citations. :) Some of the parts in that paragraph will have to be removed; we'll have to look more closely at that GameSpy interview and see whether that was misremembering on Dave's part, or if the interviewer got it wrong, or if whoever added that to the article misread it. BOZ (talk) 12:30, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Adventure Games[edit]

Regarding the unsourced statement,

"Adventure Games published several games and made money, but Arneson handed it over to Flying Buffalo as the workload became unbearable."

The Guardian instead said, "In the late 1980s, Dave shut down Adventure Games and moved to California." There are some blogs that appear to confirm the wikipedia statement, but it is unclear whether they are simply repeating wikipedia or some other unconfirmed source. For example, the mercurie blog says, "While Adventure Games would be successful, it would also create a considerable workload for Arneson. He eventually sold out to Flying Buffalo (publishers of Tunnels and Trolls)." Thus it may be appropriate to just source the Guardian and modify the sentence accordingly.—RJH (talk) 19:01, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

The trick to that is to look at the most stable version from before he died. It said the exact same thing in February, thus it's certainly possible that the obits ripped it from here. Since the Guardian had info beyond what we had in February, I'd say it's probably not just a copy from us. BOZ (talk) 19:20, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I wrote that line: [3]. It was from an interview by Ciro Allessandro Sacco that was once at EN World. There's a copy at the Internet Archive. "Overall, Adventure Games made some money but it was a lot of work. Having gotten married and with a daughter, the company was just taking too much time." It also explains the Flying Buffalo deal. Google found a copy of the interview in this forum post. --Mrwojo (talk) 20:09, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! We were using similar sources for the Gary Gygax article, but had eventually removed them in an attempt to get it up to FA. However, those interviews were good enough to get Gygax up to GA, so I'm sure the same would hold true here. :) BOZ (talk) 22:14, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

After TSR[edit]

This section still needs a few citations here and there. Particularly that first paragraph, which is still totally unsourced. BOZ (talk) 00:29, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Mention of death in lead paragraph[edit]

The last sentence in the lead paragraph about Arneson's death seems unnecessary. Firstly, his dates of birth and death are given right after his name. Secondly, the lead paragraph is a summation of his life's achievements (i.e. the reason he rates an aritcle in Wikipedia), and the fact that he died from cancer in 2009 isn't an important part of his life's work. Thirdly, while I agree that in the first few days and weeks after his death it was important to emphasize that he had recently died, I think we have reached the point where it is no longer news. Finally, I randomly chose a dozen other biographical articles concerning people who have died in the past year, and none of them listed the date and cause of death in the lead paragraph. However, as always, your mileage may vary, I'd be interested to hear opinions. Guinness323 (talk) 16:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it is good to mention his death in the lead, but I will also digress to the opinions of others. (talk) 16:47, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, so why do you think it is a good thing to mention his death in the lead?Guinness323 (talk) 17:48, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Infobox image vignetting[edit]

I dislike the vignetting, as it looks like a gravestone photo, thus giving the infobox a 'memorial' feel. I would like to replace it but cannot find the original image any more... can anyone help? --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 07:08, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Not a lot we can do. here is the original. I just cropped out the text and sword. I did extend the vignetting so that the bottom matched. Wikipedia has permission to use the vignetted version, but the copyright holder has not offered/uploaded a vignette-free version. Someone would need to track the original down and acquire permission. — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Interesting Paranthetical[edit]

During an interview Dave gave me for Stroke and Dagger magazine at Gen Con, back in the early 1990's, he told me an interesting side bit about how the polyhydra die got introduced to D&D. Effectively, it was because he had been given some by a friend visiting from Britain (where they were used in some game system or another) and he thought he'd try to come up with a use for it. Sadly, I cannot find my original notes nor do I have a copy of the article as it was published in that long-dead mag, so I can't add it, but it was a fun story and interviewing him made for a highly enjoyable afternoon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 3 external links on Dave Arneson. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 08:48, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Dave Arneson. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 04:34, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Dave Arneson. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 22:13, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^