Monday, October 11, 2010

An outsider looking in - British OSR

Are you from the US? Are you interested in gaming history? Read this very entertaining post about how the British gaming experience felt like in the 1980-ies.

Was really Maiden unknown in the US in the early nineties? Mind boggling.


  1. Thanks for the link, great read. Pretty like my experience. Totally agree about White Dwarf and 2000AD. However, I might be a few years younger than the blog author, cos we were just up the road from him and in our early years (80-83) we had and played a ton of TSR Modules.

  2. Maiden unknown here in the U.S. until the 90s?? Not only did Number of the Beast originally go Gold (and eventually Platinum) here, but most of Live After Death was recorded in Long Beach.

    Plus, as an old-school American metal head, I lived and breathed Maiden throughout the 80s. :)

  3. I was never really a heavy metal fan, but in 1984 I fenced Bruce Dikinson in my high school's fencing competition. I remember that when he was competing several hundred fans showed up to see him (not the fencing, I suppose).

  4. I knew they were big in CA, but as Ian Faith reassures me, Boston is not a big college town...

    (It was a room of about 20-30 kids of 15-18 years old in MA in 1992 - not one of them knew who they were. In fact a year or two later I was involved in another orchestral exchange visit with some slightly older New Englanders and they turned out not to know Maiden either and the only one who did had lived in Manchester, UK for a year and learned of them there!)

    1980-1983 as early years is a bit before my time - I would have put '84 when I was ten years old as the start of my paying attention to games and nagging the older kids at school to let me play.

  5. There do seem to have existed a few white spots on the metal map still in the last century.

    Having fenced with Bruce!? Amazing.

    BTW my gaming career started with Fighting Fantasy as well, but 2000AD wasn't on the radar at all. Seems like a mix of the US and the UK, actually.

  6. As Weezer is my witness, Maiden was well known if you were into metal in the US in the 80's. They never had a big crossover album like AC-DC, and didn't get played a lot on album rock stations, but they were known.

  7. "1980-1983 as early years is a bit before my time - I would have put '84 when I was ten years old as the start of my paying attention to games and nagging the older kids at school to let me play."

    Interesting. I was 10 in 1980 and our group and school was awash with TSR modules from 80-83. I wonder if it's a difference of time, location (like you said every scene was more or less on its own pre-internet)or us having a decent independent hobby shop (Reider Design).

    Anyway, good post and I look forward to more.

  8. Maiden were definitely well known in the the early 80s. I grew up in a tiny town in the Pacific Northwest, and even the kids who hated metal knew who Maiden were, if only from the distinctive T-shirts. The World Slavery Tour in '84 was my first metal concert, and they were already playing large arenas, getting radio play, yadda yadda.

  9. Everything was way more insular before the online explosion. It sometimes takes some effort to remember, even for us that were there...

    Kind of like "the sixties"? ;)

  10. Yeah, even elementary school kids in Texas knew Iron Maiden.


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