While the text of this has been available online for a long time -- I posted it here in the early days of this blog* -- the actual delivery included many asides and back-and-forths answering questions from the audience. Plus, of course, here you can see something of my show-and-tell, a part of my talk that didn't translate well into the text-only format.
Be warned that there are some technical glitches in the tape, as in a few places where the audio and visual tracks get out of sync, or a few words drop out of the audio track, but these shdn't affect anyone's watching the piece.
Just to clarify one such place: early on there's a place where I talk about Arneson and Gygax that doesn't quite come across: what I said was along the lines that Dave Arneson came up with the idea (for D&D) and then Gary Gygax figured out how to make a game out of it, in the sense of writing rules so that other people could figure out how to play: some skips in the audio track at that point make the sentence a little hard to follow.
Now that we're four years closer to the event of the next Tolkien-based movie, I was interested to see how close my predictions nr the end turned out; close, but not altogether on the mark.
Other than that, I had a great time attending the con, and thoroughly enjoyed writing up the piece; I'm glad to see it made available for those who cdn't be there in Spokane on that hot summer day in 2008.
. . . .
*Here the essay itself, broken into four pieces for easier posting:
Also available is the question and answer