Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons
Michael Witwer's Empire of Imagination tells Gygax’s story from cradle to grave. Gygax (it's a Swiss surname, in case you're curious) grew up on Chicago's north side before his family moved to his mother's home town of Lake Geneva. This Wisconsin town had provided an escape for Chicagoans since the Prohibition days. It was here in this placid small town that young Gary was free to explore the underground tunnels and buildings of an abandoned sanitarium with his friends. As a young man he become an avid war gammer, which used the small figurines now synonymous with the game he would some day help create. Gygax was a stickler for gaming rules, and not the greatest business man which created no small bit of tension with his partners and employees of TSR the game publishing company he started with Dave Arneson and his childhood friend Don Kaye.