Come commune with your inner fantasy fan or gaming geek with Ethan Gilsdorf, author of the travel memoir / pop culture narrative “FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.”
The book is an exploration and celebration of fantasy and gaming subcultures. On a quest that begins in his own geeky teenage past and ends in our online gaming future, former D&D addict Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds—from Boston to Wisconsin, France to New Zealand, and Planet Earth to Middle-earth to the realm of Aggramar. He asks game-players and fantasy fans—old, young, male, female, able-bodied and disabled—what attracts them to fantasy worlds, and for what reasons. What he discovers is funny, poignant, and enlightening.
Gilsdorf was an obsessive Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) player back in the 1980s. He quit the fantasy role-playing game when he graduated from high school. Decades later, at age 40, Gilsdorf found a box of his old D&D gear in his parents’ basement. The discovery inspired him to write the book. Fantasy and gaming subcultures covered in the book include readers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and viewer of the Lord the Rings movies, players of the online game World of WarCraft, and participants in the medieval reenactment group the Society for Creative Anachronism and fantasy conventions like Dragon*Con. Gilsdorf is also launching a contest from the book’s website, the Great Geek Giveaway, which offers prizes for those who share their geekiest moment. People can submit essays, photos or video during the month of September.