Starburst Memories (redux): Interview with a Geek: Chris Hart

2 Warps to Neptune

Full name and/or handle: Chris Hart, a.k.a. Dirk Malcolm
Birth year: 1968
Hometown: Bolton, United Kingdom
Occupation: Customer Service Manager (Call Centre)

2W2N: You wrote recently about a 1981 Starburst article that “lured” you into the world of role-playing games. There was a powerful advertisement in that issue we likely wouldn’t have seen in the U.S., because at the time D&D and the concept of role-playing were met by adults with trepidation or outright hostility. What was the overall attitude in the U.K. towards the new games?

CHRIS: An interesting question. Certain sections of the British Press have a hard won reputation for creating hysteria and using inappropriate methods in the name of freedom of speech. They liked to stoke up a moral panic about D&D and role-playing games, making a connection with paganism and the occult. Gamers didn’t really help…

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