Play Generated Map and Document Archive (PlaGMaDA) papers
Tim Hutchings, Founding Director of PlaGMaDA, compiled these donated materials and constructed the organizational system used to manage the files. PlaGMaDA scanned the majority of its documents for display on its website, plagmada.org. Hutchings labeled his folders or boxes with a four-digit number; the last two digits of the donation year, followed by the sequential number of the order in which the donation was received, yielded the donation identifier. (For example, the second donation received and scanned in the year 2013 would be given an identifier of “1302.”) When a letter follows the four-digit number, PlaGMaDA further divided the donation during the scanning process. Hutchings also indicated the name (or gamer handle) of the donor, when possible. (Two of the larger donations were not subdivided by PlaGMaDA but were organized at The Strong for easier research use.) During archival processing at The Strong, folders were labeled with descriptions of document types within each donation, as well as the game(s) represented, when identifiable.
A significant portion of this collection relates to the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (“D&D”) and its more complex edition, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (“AD&D”). Other games represented throughout these materials include Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Living Greyhawk, Mutants & Masterminds, Champions, Heroic, T.W.E.R.P.S., GURPS, and more. Additional scope and content information is listed for each series under the “Contents List” section of this finding aid.
The Play Generated Map and Document Archive (PlaGMaDA) papers are arranged into three series. The materials are housed in 28 archival document boxes and two oversized flat folders.
- 1974 - 2014
- Majority of material found within 1980 - 2000
- Hutchings, Timothy (Director, Person)
Conditions Governing Use
15.1 Linear Feet (28 boxes, 2 oversized folders)
“PlaGMaDA's mission is to preserve, present, and interpret play generated cultural artifacts, namely manuscripts and drawings created to communicate a shared imaginative space. The Archive will solicit, collect, describe, and publicly display these documents so as to demonstrate their relevance, presenting them as both a historical record of a revolutionary period of experimental play and as aesthetic objects in their own right. By fostering discussion and educating the public, it is hoped that the folkways which generate these documents can be encouraged and preserved for future generations.”
Since 2008, PlaGMaDA has collected ephemera created as a result of play. According to founder Tim Hutchings, “any mark made for or during game play is fair game.” Hutchings considers these living maps and documents to share characteristics with folk and outsider art. Typically, players disposed of these papers after the completion of specific role-playing game adventures (or after giving up gaming), resulting in a scarcity of this type of supporting documentation. Game mapping, once considered a valuable skill in the role-playing game world, fizzled due to the “auto-mapping” features of computer games and later fantasy games. Hutchings’ project seeks to preserve this type of ephemera not only for their aesthetic value, but also the historical value demonstrated by this documentation within the development of play.
System of Arrangement
Series I: Original documentation, 1975-2014
Series II: Published materials, 1974-2013
Series III: Game modules, 1974-2000
- Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (Game)
- Call of Cthulhu (Game)
- Chaosium, Inc
- Dungeons and Dragons (Game)
- Fantasy gamers
- Fantasy games
- Fantasy games -- Information resources.
- Gygax, Gary
- Map drawing
- National Toy Hall of Fame inductee
- Play Generated Map and Document Archive
- RPGA Network
- Role playing
- Role playing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Role playing games
- Simulation games
- TSR Hobbies, Inc.
- TSR, Inc.
- War games
- Wizards of the Coast, Inc
- McLouth, David (Person)
- North Coast Gamers (Organization). Penn-Ohio Chapter (Organization)
- Torner, Evan (Person)
- Finding Aid to the Play Generated Map and Document Archive (PlaGMaDA) Papers, 1974-2014
- Julia Novakovic
- 27 August 2014
- Description rules
- Language of description
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA