Today celebrates the birthday of Eric Holmes. He would have been 82. John Eric Holmes, M.D. (February 16, 1930 – March 20, 2010) was a neurologist, gaming enthusiast, author, and editor of Dungeons and Dragons (Basic Edition, 1979).

One Saturday morning in high school, a friend called me up and asked if I wanted to come over and play Dungeons and Dragons. At the time, I had never heard of it. His older brother ran the game and there were around six of us playing, all of which, like me, were brand new to the game (except, of course, the one who invited me). We played OD&D and had an amazing time. I was hooked from the very beginning.

Some time after that, I finally had some money and went to our local gaming store anxious to pick up some D&D material of my own. Basic D&D had just come out. I am happy to say it was my very first D&D purchase. The game wasn’t just a collection of rules and accessories. The box actually contained magic! Walking into a gaming store today just isn’t the same. Back then, when you passed through the doors, you entered another world. I was truly captivated by the magic of the game that permeated the entire store.

When I went home, I read the booklet cover to cover. I couldn’t have been more excited had I discovered an actual portal to another world. To this day, whenever I thumb through this booklet, I still feel a glimmer of what I felt back then. Maybe it’s just nostalgia. Or maybe there really is a little magic in the words it contains.

Thank you Dr. Holmes, for giving the world a tremendous gift.