Game Guy Started at Age 14 Still Going On in His 50s

Robert Wardhaugh began his Dungeons and Dragons marathon in 1982 and hasn't stopped since
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2020 10:35 AM CDT
This Guy Has Been Playing the Same Game of D&D Since 1982
Dungeons and Dragons is on display after being inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY, on Nov. 10, 2016.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)

Right from the description on his website, you can tell he's serious about gaming: "My name is Robert Wardhaugh and I am the Dungeon Master (DM)." Although Wardhaugh's full-time job is as a history professor at the University of Western Ontario, the Canadian man's unofficial part-time gig is running what he believes is the world's longest Dungeons & Dragons game, a campaign he says has been taking place for 38 years. CNN reports that Wardhaugh first jumped into the fantasy role-playing game when he was a young teen after reading through a friend's rulebooks. "I was hooked," he says on his site. Wardhaugh kept the game going all through high school, college, and grad school, finding new friends who wanted to play as the years rolled by.

Wardhaugh's game started out with just four players, but it's now ballooned to nearly 60, with some participants even coming to his home—where he houses a collection of 20,000 miniatures—from all over Canada. Virtual players, meanwhile, take part via video from as far away as England. He hosts up to four sessions a week, which can last from four to five hours, in his basement. What makes Wardhaugh's gameplay unique is that he weaves his knowledge of history into it, but the game has also served a deeper purpose for him. Last year, he told the London Free Press that guys are notoriously bad at staying in touch with each other, and that this addresses that challenge. "I knew early on that if I was able to create a game that was good enough, [my friends] would keep coming," he says, per CNN. Read more here on the game's beginnings when he was just 14, and how it's evolved since. (More Dungeons & Dragons stories.)

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