Michael Witwer

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in Evanston, Illinois, The United States
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August 2015


Michael Witwer is a lifelong gamer and gaming enthusiast. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, where this book first emerged as the subject of his master's thesis. He is also a film and theater actor and marketing professional, and is the brother of actor Sam Witwer, who originally introduced him to Dungeons & Dragons. He lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife and two children.

Average rating: 3.72 · 1,078 ratings · 230 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Empire of Imagination: Gary...

3.64 avg rating — 1,000 ratings — published 2015 — 9 editions
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Dungeons and Dragons Art an...

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4.77 avg rating — 78 ratings — published 2018 — 4 editions
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On the eve of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea, video game giant Konami released Track & Field II for the Nintendo Entertainment System. A sequel to the hugely popular arcade game of the same name, Track & Field II boasted many improvements to its predecessor such as offering a choice of countries that the player could represent, as well as a much expanded series... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on August 20, 2015 18:28 • 85 views • Tags: arm-wrestling, hang-gliding, over-the-top, summer-olympics, track-field-ii

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Michael Witwer rated a book it was amazing
Playing at the World by Jon Peterson
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Peterson's Playing at the World is without a doubt the definitive history of role-playing games. Through his remarkable, source-driven research, Peterson has single-handedly redefined our understanding of an industry that previously had a history clo ...more
Michael Witwer rated a book it was amazing
Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal
Finding Fernanda
by Erin Siegal (Goodreads Author)
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Finding Fernanda is a beautifully written exposé of the cross border adoption industry. I had no knowledge of this topic before I picked the book up, but Siegal outlines the issues with clarity and a heart-wrenching narrative that anyone can relate t ...more
Empire of Imagination by Michael Witwer
"This is a fantastic book that tells the story of E. Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons and Dragons and by extension the entire role playing genre. The biography is extremely well researched through extensive interviews with Gygax's family and cow..." Read more of this review »
Michael Witwer rated a book it was amazing
The Walking Dead Psychology by Travis Langley
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I just finished my advance reading copy and I loved it! I'm a lifelong horror movie fan and The Walking Dead Psychology really opened my eyes as to why concepts like zombies are so darned appealing. With an insightful foreword by Night of the Living ...more
Michael Witwer wants to read 26 books in the 2015 Reading Challenge
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“Hadn't Gary Gygax simply invented a game, and an esoteric one at that? It was hardly a footnote in the increasingly fast and complex information age that we live in. What was all the fuzz about? The reason for all the fuzz among those who understood his work was simple. Gary Gygax and his seminal game creation, Dungeons & Dragons, had influenced and transformed the world in extraordinary ways. Yet, much of his contribution would also go largely unrecognised by the general public. Although it is debatable whether D&D ever became a thoroughly mainstream activity, as a 1983 New York Times article had speculated, referring to it as the great game of the 1980's, D&D and its RPG derivatives are beloved by a relatively small but dedicated group of individuals affectionately known as 'geeks'. Although the term 'geek' is not exclusive to role-playing gamers, the activities of this particular audience have often been viewed as the most archetypal form of 'geekiness'. Labels aside, what is notable is that the activities of this RGP audience were highly correlated with interests in other activities such as early computers, digital technologies, visual effects, and the performing arts. In this way, these geeks, though relatively small in number, became in many instances the leaders and masters of this era. With the advent of the digital age, geeks worldwide found opportunity and recognition never previously available to their predecessors. Icons and innovators such as George R. R. Martin, Mike Myers, Richard Garriott, Vin Diesel, Tim Duncan, Anderson Cooper, David X. Cohen, John Carmak, Tim Harford, Moby, and the late Robin Williams, to name just a few, were all avid role-playing gamers in their younger years. The list of those who include D&D as a regular activity while growing up is both extensive and impressive.”
Michael Witwer, Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

“One display of particular interest to Gary featured a medieval castle and associated miniature soldiers used for a game called The Siege of Bodenburg. At the time, traditional board wargamers and miniatures battle players were still two distinct audiences. Wargame publishers, such as Avalon Hill, hadn’t thought to use miniatures in its battle simulations, instead relying on hex maps and cardboard counters. Bodenburg seemed to have an appeal for diverse factions of gamers, and it sparked Gary’s interest in miniatures gaming in the medieval setting, an interest that would inevitably lead to his greatest creation. Not”
Michael Witwer, Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

“Gary Gygax and his seminal game creation, Dungeons & Dragons, had influenced and transformed the world in extraordinary ways. Yet”
Michael Witwer, Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

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