Stupid Question

An article at Gizmodo wonders why there aren’t more copies of Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks at public libraries.


The authors of the essay try and get all scientifical about the question.  Waste of time.  The answer is obvious.

I’ve been playing the game since 1977, when the 1st Edition boxed set came out.  I know exactly why there aren’t more copies in libraries.  It is because people keep stealing them!

stealing books

I remember distinctly that rulebooks and source books for the game started to appear on library shelves in the late 1970’s as the popularity of the game soared.  I also remember that the books would disappear within days or weeks as cash-strapped gamers would fill their backpacks and walk out with the swag.

The books are expensive, which makes sense since the publisher can only sell one copy to each customer before they stop looking to buy.  After you have the rules, why buy another copy?  At last, why buy another copy as long as your girlfriend’s cat doesn’t pee on the book and make it smell to high heaven.

kitten wants to pee

So people short on money will snag an unsecured book.  Besides, do these guys look like they have any disposable income?

right now other people are having sex

7 thoughts on “Stupid Question

  1. Begging your pardon, sir, but my experience with gamers who play paper and pencil games (As well as to a lesser extent, computer games.) is that they actually do have a lot of disposable income. It is disposable income they should be spending on other, more critical (To living.) things, and most of them will never have enough income to buy everything gaming they want – but they have an awful lot of income available for games.

  2. I’ll have to agree with cxt217, gamers should have quite a bit of disposable income. Girlfriends are a major cash hog, so there’s a giant savings right there. Personal hygene products are expensive so that could be a major savings provided they don’t need actual prescription treatments for serious skin diseases. Also, unless they get into LARP’ing in a major way, one crusty t-shirt and cargo shorts makes for an inexpensive wardrobe.

  3. Personally I think that people who steal from libraries should be burned at the stake, impaled, staked out over an ant hill, made to watch the Dr Who episode ‘Kill the Moon.’

    Errr, actually that last one is waaay too harsh.

    But as you may have gathered I do regard stealing from public libraries to be a particular sort of scumminess.

    However I do think that having games like D&D in libraries a bit pointless, a game is something you want to own. Okay, you might want to try out a system before committing to it, but still. It’s a game not a book.

    And the cliché of cash-strapped nerds? Not so true nowadays. They may have started off as kids in their mothers basements, but now they’re running companies and shaping the future. Or running charity self-defence courses.

    Okay, slight exaggeration but two very successful fantasy author’s Jim Butcher and Larry Corriega are both gamers. As is English fantasy author Frances Hardinge. (All of the aforementioned I can highly recommend.) And there are probably more out there.

      • Doh! Of course.

        Rumour has it (sodium-chloride on standby) that he introduced Dame Judy Dench to the game while filming ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ and that she now runs campaigns for her grand-children.

        Probably mere rumour, but I can’t help feeling it would be nice if it were true.

      • Wow! That is majorly cool. Okay *perhaps* not as cool as having Vin Diesel in a campaign, but . . .

        But, seriously, when ever I have met Frances she has come across as a very nice person. And as said previously, and JIC you haven’t already read them, I would whole-heartedly recommend her books.

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