What’s In A Name?

Look, Dungeons & Dragons has a brand-spanking new logo to go along with their fresh, new take on the Game that Dave and Gary Built.


If you ask me, it’s kind of dull. It lacks character. It’s the sort of thing a green graphic design grad would come up with for some marketing firm.

It’s a far cry from this:


Anyway, it got me thinking… about the history of the game and my place in it. I mean, I’ve been playing since 1978. Granted, I took a break from about 1998 to 2012, but I always kept my ear to the rail. It was never far from my heart.

And now it dawns on me. Wizards of the Coast, gods love ’em, own the brand name, but they sure as hell don’t own the part that makes Dungeons & Dragons a geek-cultural icon. They don’t own its soul.

That belongs to me and my dice mates.


Because we bled all over that game. We grew up in the Caves of Chaos and the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl just as surely as we grew up in rural Indiana.

Dungeons & Dragons is bigger than a © or a ®. It’s a bloody way of life played out in the theater of the mind. It’s co-operative storytelling in its purest sense, unique in that every group has their own way of doing it, because there is no wrong way.

Dungeons & Dragons has never been about the letter of the law, by-the-numbers mechanics.

Not really.

Gary Gygax once said, “The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don’t need any rules.”

And why is that? Because what had made Dungeons & Dragons special all boils down to yarnspinning, the more seat-of-your-pants the better if you ask me.

So, Wizards of the Coast, I wish you all the luck with your brand. I hope you make lots of money from your endeavors. In fact, you’ll probably continue to get a fair amount of mine. But don’t kid yourselves for one moment — You may own the name, but you’ll never own the game.


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