If you quizzed any group of adults on their favorite childhood game or toy, you'd get a variety of different responses. Still, there would be a few items and experiences that manage to overlap, and those are often things found in the Toy Hall of Fame. Now that group includes one of the originators of the fantasy tabletop experience, Dungeons & Dragons.
This year the Toy Hall of Fame inducted three new members to its exclusive club, which included Dungeons & Dragons, the Swing, and Fisher-Price Little People. The swing makes sense, a hallmark of any playground around the world, and Fischer Price's Little People have continued to thrive no matter what generation they find themselves in (via NPR).
As for D&D, the Toy Hall of Fame acknowledged the game's innovation in roleplaying mechanics, and how that formed the basis for the current games industry.
"More than any other game, Dungeons & Dragons paved the way for older children and adults to experience imaginative play. It was groundbreaking. And it opened the door for other kinds of table games that borrow many of its unique mechanics. But most importantly, Dungeons & Dragons’ mechanics lent themselves to computer applications."
"Coupled with the rise of the Internet, players’ characters could now interact in these graphic settings with countless other characters all over the world. These Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG’s), such as World of Warcraft and many others with diverse thematic settings, are extremely popular today. Without Dungeons & Dragons, these games would not have evolved as they did."
D&D joins a roster that includes the Jigsaw Puzzle, G.I. Joe, the Atari 2600 Game System, Hot Wheels, LEGO, and Candy Land, and is the most complex gaming experience on the current roster. It's a well-earned spot, as Dungeons & Dragons continues to evolve, reflect, and transform with every new iteration, and is a stalwart of tabletops everywhere. Its influence can be seen in film, video games, books, comics, art, and just about anything else in the creative medium, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
To celebrate the noteworthy occasion, let us know what some of your favorite Dungeons & Dragons memories are in the comments!