Saturday, February 12, 2005

SPI Died for Your Sins

SPI Died for Your Sins

"The scene: Saturday morning at Origins [19]77, the national simulations gaming convention, hosted that year at a college on Staten Island by SPI. Inside the dealer's room, game companies feverishly prepare for the onslaught. Outside, beyond the locked doors, visible through the glass wall of the room, are the gamers, hundreds of them, pressed against the glass. At ten, the doors open, and the hordes pour through, charging into the dealer's room. Most make a beeline for the SPI table, where they stand, six deep, demanding copies of the new wargame releases, overwhelming the dozen staffers who stand behind the table to fulfill orders.

"The scene: GenCon 96, the largest adventure gaming convention, Saturday morning in the open gaming area. We browse around, moving from table to table, seeing what people are playing. D&D, of course; Magic; Vampire; GURPS. Perhaps a game of Civilization, or Rail Baron.

"Oh, here's someone playing a wargame. What's he playing?

"Why, an out-of-print SPI wargame. From the seventies."