Thursday, March 06, 2008

Farewell to the Ultimate Dungeon Master

Each morning I begin my day with a hot cup of coffee and by logging on to Google Reader and scanning through the headlines of the various RSS feeds. Imagine my surprise Wednesday morning when I found the headline “RIP Gary Gygax” on the Geeks Are Sexy feed which lead to an article on Wired announcing that Gary Gygax had passed away on Tuesday.

For those of you not in the know, E. Gary Gygax is the co-creator and “father” of Dungeons & Dragons, and ostensibly all other role playing games and fantasy based games that have come after. D&D began as a miniatures based strategy game called “Chainmail” and developed into the role playing game it is today. With little doubt, all gamers owe D&D and Gary Gygax a vote of thanks for inspiring the games we all love from “Warhammer” to Magic: The Gathering and every game of a similar flavor.

There have been lots of people who have trashed D&D over the three decades since its debut into the gaming world. Fundamentalist Christians call it demonic and satanic. Bullies and assholes have teased and picked on the “geeks” who play it. The original publisher, TSR, Inc. even had its own internal struggles with Gygax, who founded the company, was forced out via hostile take over in the early 1980's and then in the 1990's sold the rights to D&D, et. al., to Wizards of the Coast due to being over $30 million in debt. Since it's inception in 1974, D&D has gone through three and one-half editions/incarnations and a fourth edition is reportedly in the works and slated for release in May 2008.

Regardless of your opinion of D&D or any of the various other games that have been spawned as a result of its influence, I can say for myself that when I discovered D&D when I was thirteen it inspired me to appreciate literature, history and art. Rest in peace Gary; you've given millions of people enjoyment and a creative outlet for all these years and sparked our imaginations. Huzzah and Farewell, Gary Gygax! You will be missed.


For Additional Reading and Information go to:

(this is a supplemental blog; Sunday, March 9's blog, “So Many Books, So Little Time” is still planned)

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