40 Years of Gen Con

40 Years of Gen Con at a Glance

  • A detailed history of a premier gaming con…and the hobby game industry that spawned it.
  • Written by award-winning game designer Robin D. Laws, an industry pioneer and insider.
  • Features in-depth interviews with gaming greats, secrets, and little-known facts.

Gaming History: More about 40 Years of Gen Con

Each year, thousands of gamers converge for an epic convention that celebrates all that tabletop has to offer: Gen Con. In this book, gaming guru Robin D. Laws walks us through the growth of the convention — and the industry that spawned it — from every point of view.

From the attendees playing in the halls to the staffers behind the scenes and the exhibitors on the sales floor, 40 Years of Gen Con contains a treasure trove of information about the history of tabletop games. This book compiles personal interviews with industry luminaries like Dave Arneson, E. Gary Gygax, Ed Greenwood, and more. This epic collection of oral histories, photographs, and facts tells the complete story of the best four decades in gaming.

Note: The first printing fails to credit Scott Griffin for the following photographs: "Ed Greenwood as Elminster," "Musicians entertaining at Gen Con," and "Gary Gygax in the 'Klingon Jail 'n Bail.'" We apologize for the error.

40 Years of Gen Con is available in PDF, as it is out of print.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • The Early Years: 1967-1970
  • The Dawn of D&D: 1971-1974
  • The Last of the Lake Geneva Years: 1975-1977
  • UW-Parkside: 1978-1984
  • Hello Milwaukee: 1985-1992
  • The Gathering: 1993-1997
  • Milwaukee Goodbye: 1998-2002
  • Gen Con Indy: 2003-Present

Vital Stats

Author: Robin D. Laws
Editor: Michelle Nephew
Cover Artist: Eliane Lilith Bettocchi
MSRP: $29.95 (print), $14.95 (PDF)
Atlas Stock #: AG2702
Barcode: 1-58978-097-3
Format: 8.5” x 10”, smythe sewn hardcover with dust jacket, PDF
Release Date: August 2007