Opening of the Dungeons and Dragons museum on Lake Geneva
LAC GENEVE – What comes to your mind when you think of Lake Geneva? The lake, boating, beautiful homes or a tourist destination? It might be fine, but you are forgetting one thing: Dungeons and Dragons.
Lake Geneva is the birthplace of the famous fantasy tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. It was co-created by Gary Gygax in 1974.
Now the city has one more thing to add to its list of attractions, a Dungeons and Dragons museum at 723 Williams St. on Lake Geneva.
The Dungeons Hobby Shop Museum opened in July 2021 to preserve the game’s legacy and honor its creator, Gygax. The game is a cooperative adventure game that integrates fantasy and role-playing. Players work together to complete quests.
“Right now, generations don’t even know Gary Gygax’s name, so our main goal is to get (a) a Welcome to Lake Geneva sign saying Bienvenue sur le lac Léman, Gary Gygax’s home, Dungeons and Dragons co-creator, ”Jeff Leason, said museum curator.
It might sound like a lofty goal, but the game has the stats to back it up. It has been regularly performed for 47 years by millions of people around the world. It even generated around $ 1 billion in revenue, according to the BBC.
“This museum should have been here 30 years ago, but we are here now,” Leason said.
In fact, the museum is in the exact same building as the original D&D headquarters. Inside are vintage figurines, old textbooks and everything in between. Almost everything inside has been donated.
You won’t find a lot of modern pieces here, however. The majority of the collectibles inside date from the 70s and 80s.
One of the most valuable items is a $ 10,000 wooden box from the first edition.
The curator, Leason, is not just a huge D&D fan. It has its literal name attached to the history of the game.
“Yeah, that’s the one thing I feel most comfortable with is D&D. “
Leason was an editor, writer and producer of some of the very first modules.
He worked for Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) from 1978 to 1986. TSR was created by Gygax so that he could self-publish his game.
Leason hopes his museum can inspire more people to play. More so, he wants local residents to know that this global game was created by a guy from Lake Geneva.
“We need to make it known that Gary Gygax is the creator of Dungeons and Dragons and that he lived here. The city could benefit tremendously,” he said.
The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Entrance and tours are free, but donations are accepted.
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