Geek alert warning.
It was with more than a bit of sadness that I was informed that Gary Gygax, one of the creative minds behind the oft maligned Dungeons and Dragons RPG died. I knew Gary had been having health problems for sometime, suffering from various abdominal illnesses as well as a stroke in the past few years. Even so, he had been very accesible through several different mailing lists, from Greytalk to his own listserv.
In my own limited dealings with Gary through emails, he was always very personable, very intelligent, witty, and rarely shy about anything. There are others out there who had much more contact with the father of DnD, and I’m sure that they will chime in with their own memories and reflections of their interactions with Gary.
For myself, I’ve been playing since 1978. Thirty years of a hobby that started in grade school, at the time reccomended, and encouraged by my 4th grade teacher. That original group was six of us, with two DM’s from the high school. We played initially at lunch time or recess in the elementary school library for 45 minutes to an hour three times a week. Then whatever we did after school or on weekends.
Now, all that stuff I bought for $5-10 (my players handbook cost $8, and is now worth well over $100), has only appreciated in value. Not just in terms of money, but in terms of memories. When I crack open those hard cover 1st edition (and 1st printing!) books, I get all kinds of nostalgic.
Gary’s death is garnering all sorts of attention. A lot of us in the online world are or were “original gamers,” back in the days long before PC or even arcade video games. Back when you wanted to go dungeon crawling you had to actually get together physically with people to play. You know, that whole human interaction thing. But across the globe, the obituary for Gary is spreading.
Lots of reading on this out there: