A Remarkable 40 Year Long Dungeons & Dragons Game

The Wired series Obsessed visited Dungeon Master Robert Wardhaugh at his Ontario home to learn more about his incredible Dungeons & Dragons game that’s been continuously running for 40 years.

Remember that game of Dungeons & Dragons you started when you were 11? What if it never stopped? Robert Wardhaugh has been the Dungeon Master for a D&D campaign that’s been going on for over 40 years. In his game, once you start playing…you keep playing.

Wardhaugh gave the crew a tour of his basement where the game is played, his many figurines, and game terrains. He also explained that the game influenced at least one major life decision.

When I was buying a house, the most important part for me was getting a gaming space that I could use. My entire basement is my gaming area.

Wardhaugh stated that he first started the game in 1982. At that time, D&D was considered a threat by those who perpetuated “Satanic Panic” and Wardhaugh definitely felt it.

“Why does my son want to play this game all the time?”, “Why is he obsessed about it?”, ”What are you doing to him?””, Are you a cult leader?” I get called a cult leader, a Communist, all these crazy labels. When I watched “Stranger Things”, it obviously hit home for me.

Despite the initial pushback, Wardhaugh found many like minds from around the world who enjoy continuing the game with him.

Since the beginning, there’s probably been about 500 characters that have been made and played within the game. When a new player comes in, I’m inviting them to play a game that they’re gonna be welcome to keep playing until I die. So you could start a character, nine generations later, that family could take over.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.