The Art of an Unspoken Use of the OSR Boxed Set

I’ve heard many an argument for a renowned love of boxed sets from gamers. They are cool, they hold my books & papers, they look great on shelves, etc, but being a child of the 1980s I can tell you for a fact that there is another underlying reason that young male gamers of that era loved RPG boxed sets. Two words, porn storage.

Yep, I said it! I let the cat out of the bag on this one, but truly there was a great art in this practice. It seemed an almost time honored tradition because really, truly, where was the absolute LAST place your mom or girlfriend was going to go randomly digging while in your room? Yep, that’s right, your latest TSR boxed set was like Fort Knox where safety was concerned.

I can only assume this started well before my time, probably somewhere in the late 1970s as TSR brought out the Basic Box that was large enough to hold a Playboy perfectly, and really, what else did young boys with overworked hormones have to fall back to other than an illicitly gained Playboy magazine in that day an age. I suppose they could have torn the lingerie pages out of the Sears or JCPenny catalogs and stuffed them in there as well, but a Playboy would have been the preferred smut of choice.

Not much changed in the 1980s as Playboy still reigned supreme and the TSR boxed sets kept rolling out for added volumes if you could acquire them. Certainly the VCR was now in use, but stuffing a VHS tape inside an RPG box wasn’t going to happen, well, at least until the introduction of 1995 Planescape Setting and the ‘deep’ box, but by that time the world was starting to change anyway.

Once the Internet came into play, porn became more readily available, but even as late as 2000 you weren’t going to be streaming video over your dialup from AOL, so the advantages of DVD really helped anyone seeking to hide a library inside a now little used and mostly dusty collection of backlog and venerable boxes upon basement shelves.

And even today, with high speed internet access you might still find a need to dump a collection onto a multi-GB flash drive, and what better spot than an available boxed set? If it worked in the past, then why not today, right?

Whatever the case, be it was then or now, there is no doubt that the RPG boxed set is a good friend to have if you just want to keep a secret… well, unless your wife is currently reading this or heaven forbid happens to be a gamer like yourself.

Illicit Storage Rating: 5 [out of 5]

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