• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

Recommended Locations for a Twin Cities / Arneson Gaming "Pilgrimage"


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
An interesting conversation on Stack Exchange (Suitable Dave Arneson pilgrimage location) was brought to my attention by another EN World member via private message. For those who are interested in the history of D&D and TTRPGs in general, Lake Geneva is the primary "pilgrimage" location, but the Twin Cities played an important historical role in the hobby. Lake Geneva is still a good place to remember Dave Arneson's contributions to the hobby. He moved there when he went to work for TSR. The only Arneson specific memorials I'm aware off are at Full Sail University, where Arneson taught (https://www.fullsail.edu/about/full-sail-stories/blackmoor-studios-opens-on-campus). Unlike Lake Geneva, WI, there are not many explicitly recognized and marked locations related to D&D or David Arneson in the Twin Cities, but if you wanted to just visit locations where the hobby developed in the early days, and don't care much about any plaques, displays, etc., where would you go?

1. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA (Coffman Union; Wilson Library). Coffman Union Coffman Memorial Union | Student Unions & Activities) is likely where the University of Minnesota Military History Club initially would hold their meetings. Wilson Library (Wilson Library | University of Minnesota Libraries): For some time, I've wanted to go to the University of Minnesota library and see if the original copy of Strategos: a series of American games of war... by Charles Totten was still in its holdings. The University of Minnesota Military History Club (MMHC) would look at who signed out this book to find potential members (can't find the source of this, just from memory). I doubt that the old checkout card would still be in it or that the same copy is still held by the library (wouldn't be surprised if some fan/collector "forgot" to return it). But it would be very cool if it was still in the library. Searching on https://primo.lib.umn.edu/ isn't finding it, though, so I'm guess it is long gone.

2. UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS. A number of players in the early MN wargaming and proto-RPG scene came from the University of Saint Thomas (Home). In the early 70s many of the Midwest Military Simulation Association (MMSA) members moved their games out of Dave Arneson's basement to the University of Saint Thomas. https://odd74.proboards.com/thread/683/twin-cities-blackmoor-1973-1976. "By the fall of 1972, activities related to Blackmoor were conducted "almost exclusively" at St. Thomas, though still under the broad auspice of the MMSA." The Midwest Military Simulation Association (MMSA). The MMSA was started because the MMHC was a U of MN student group that required two-thirds of its members to be student of the U of MN

3. Highland Park High School. Arneson began participating in the MMSA while a student at Highland Park High School in St. Paul (Our History / History).

4. Source Comics and Games. Welcome to the Source Comics and Games! - Source Comics & Games , while it only opened in 1989, it became a frequent gathering place for Arneson and some of the old guard in their later years. After Arneson died, for a while some of the original Blackmore players would meet at The Source once per year to play Blackmore in Arneson's memory. Don't know if they still do. For D&D’s old masters, the fantasy still thrills

5. The Minnesota Historical Society (Homepage - MNHS.ORG). Arneson worked (volunteered?) for the Minnesota Historical Society for many years, and he was instrumental in the creation of the society's first gaming exhibit, which showcased the history of gaming in Minnesota. I can't find anything about this exhibit on the MHS site, so I don't know if it still exists, nor can I find anything in their holdings related to Arneson.

6. Arneson's Childhood Home. Arneson's childhood home was located at 2104 Kenwood Parkway in Minneapolis, which is just a few blocks away from the house used for the exterior shots of Mary Richards' house in the TV show "The Mary Tyler Moore Shows.

log in or register to remove this ad

Remove ads