Author Topic: Research: looking to interview people who played wargames in the 1970s  (Read 1061 times)

bob48

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Absolutely right, Brant. When it comes to serious scientific subjects, there should be no cutting corners.

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers'


besilarius

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My gaming also began in the 60s.
Have to think a bit to get specific memories to the 1970s.
My first thought is how D&D just destroyed a couple of wargame clubs.
A lot of folks found Role Play to really be their thing.   My memory is that Avalon Hill historical games, and then SPI's historory games had gotten people into wargaming and we're making the hobby more mainstream.
Brentanno's was a major book seller in those days.  They had a branch  on F street in Washington, DC that was three blocks from the White House.
A strong memory bubbled up.  I was shocked to see a large display of SPI games on a gondala in the store.  There were a mix of games, Sniper, Phalanx,Legion, and lots of World War II.
Before this, I only saw games in small,cramped hobby shops.
To see a major retailer devoting significant space to wargames, blocks from the White House, just seemed like the world shifted.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


besilarius

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Oh, just had a thought.  One of Avalon Hill's designers was Jack W Greene.
He is still in the hobby, running Quarterdeck Games in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  He is on Facebook and loves to talk about gaming.
He is also in contact with Tom Shaw who was the General Manager of AH from the 60s until New Management took over.  Maybe in the mid 1980s?  He is still playing stick ball and very sharp.
Jack Greene is also in contact with Lou Zocchi who was a game designer and ran a company, GameScience, in Biloxi Mississippi.
These guys could give you information on the hobby from the game company's side.
Oh, and Al Nofi is also on Facebook.  He was a game designer and manager at SPI.
He is very nice.  Easy to talk to, friendly, and enjoys talking about the hobby.  He was a writer and researcher so should be a great resource.
The one thing is these guys are older.  They make me and Bob look like spring chickens.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


Steelgrave

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Hi Chris, sounds like a fun thesis, at least for this bunch anyway. I started gaming around 1972, 1973 with Avalon Hill's Midway. Moved to PanzerBlitz and Luftwaffe after that and I couldn't buy Avalon Hill games fast enough afterwards. Until computer gaming became a thing, I was 100% board wargaming, mostly solo except for one good friend,  with regular AD&D games becoming a thing in the early 80's. Looking forward to seeing where your thesis goes.

Somewhere, somehow, I woke up in the wrong timeline. I'm pretty sure this isn't even my dimension.


Barthheart

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Absolutely right, Brant. When it comes to serious scientific subjects, there should be no cutting corners.

 :waiting:

PETS - People for the Ethical Treatment of Square corners


caylott

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Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely be watching and making notes.

My main method is to focus on individual interviews, though. The slower-but-still-n-real-time pace gives both interviewer and interviewee a little more time to reflect and make connections, which usually leads to some interesting and unexpected information.

As I said, if that's of interest then definitely ping me via PM or email. I'm also every interested in contact recommendations such as Jack Greene above. Too many of the folks who built the hobby game business are not around any more, and one of my secondary motivations is to try to preserve their memories and experiences while they're still here to share them.

Best wishes,

Chris