Tuesday, March 4, 2008

RIP, Gary Gygax

The creator of the world-famous Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game (RPG), Gary Gygax, died yesterday. He was 69 years old.

It's difficult to quantify Mr. Gygax's impact on our modern Western civilization, but it's certainly considerable. Most computer games followed the outlines and "gaming systems" he invented; almost all role-playing games since D&D are structured in a similar way; and millions upon millions of kids (many of them not so young - some even graying!) have participated in the fantasy worlds he invented.

I've never been much into RPG's myself, although I've dabbled in them with friends from time to time. However, I know that many are obsessively involved with them, to the extent that they almost re-make their lives around them.

In honor of the late Mr. Gygax, here's one such character (courtesy of Reno 911). I think he'd appreciate this clip as a fond farewell.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

E. Gary Gygax was only the *co*-author of the Dungeons & Dragons game system. Later, when D&D hit the big time, Gygax desperately wanted to buy out Arneson and make it look like only Gygax had come up with the system. And Gygax was definitely an egomaniac.

Gygax also tried to sue the Metro Detroit Gamers around 1980 because the MDG held a games convention in Detroit that Gygax felt was too close (date-wise) to Gygax's GenCon in Milwaukee. Gygax tried to get the MDG's cons canceled because he said that MDG was drawing paying customers away from his cons. Rubbish! Screw Gygax for trying to stifle his "competition."

Needless to say, after that episode, a lot of us in the Detroit area quit playing D&D and also boycotted TSR, which was Gygax's company. In fact, we in the MDG had two custom t-shirts printed then. One shirt had the TSR logo on it with a red circle and slash superimposed over the logo. The other shirt said "E. Coli eats s**t--so does E. Gary Gygax"!

-- chicopanther