Today and tomorrow mark what looks to be an exciting series of events in New York City that celebrate the impact and continued relevance of Dungeons & Dragons on the culture.
The Dungeons and Dragons On & Ever Onward art show at the Soho Gallery of Digital Art is “a snapshot of the contemporary NYC scene forming at the intersection of role-playing games, the art world and the conservation of Dungeons & Dragons’ legacy,” according to Tavis Allison, one of the event’s organizers. Allison says curator Timothy Hutchings has assembled a retrospective of digital works by contemporary artists, and a selection of images from the Play-Generated Maps and Documents Archive (PlaGMaDA) that “demonstrate the roots of the connection between playing D&D and making art.” Artists include Ryan Browning, Casey Jex Smith and a group called the Doomslangers, plus video by Hutchings, Erol Otus and Autarch. The show runs through Jan. 11.
Allison’s Adventuring Parties (which organizes private role-playing sessions to celebrate birthdays, bachelor or bachelorette parties, reunions, etc.) will be throwing gaming events at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
Wednesday’s opening-night party combines a wine-and-cheese reception for the artists with a beer-and-Doritos fundraiser for the Tower of Gygax, one of Gen Con’s most popular events. The Tower of Gygax is a D&D adventure that has, Allison says, “introduced thousands of gamers to the joys of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons while slaughtering the characters of those whose wits and luck fall short of the standards set by the great Dungeon Master.”
Allison has been one of the Tower’s DMs since the beginning. He’s bringing the Tower of Gygax to NYC for the first time, raising money to support this fan-based effort to join Gary Gygax’s family in promoting role-playing and marking Gygax’s role in creating the RPG industry.
The party Thursday celebrates a new gaming system, Adventurer Conqueror King, and its entry into retail stores following a successful crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter. During Thursday’s celebration at the gallery, Adventuring Parties will be introducing guests to Erol Otus’ Island Town adventure, which will be one of the first gaming releases to use the Adventurer Conqueror King compatibility logo. And Thursday’s party will conclude with performances by d20 Burlesque, an acclaimed burlesque show catering to the gamer community in the New York City area. (The ladies may do their famous d20 dance.)
Dungeons and Dragons: On & Ever Onward marks the beginning of a busy year for the New York City art and gaming scene. From March 15 to 19, the 319 Scholes gallery will present Big Reality, which explores the intersection of art and role-playing games. Curator and PlaGMaDA founder Timothy Hutchings is also expected to announce a new line of books documenting the intersection of art, RPGs and gaming history.