Farewell Father of Dungeons and Dragons…

Hi all…

Yesterday saw the loss of a huge influence in my life. Yes, an influence from afar, but a strong influence nonetheless. Without Gary Gygax, I would not be half the geek I am today.

Gary Gygax at GenCon 2007
(Photo from Wired article)

At age 69, Gygax was the co-founder of Dungeons and Dragons in the early 1970s with Dave Arneson. He died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He had been fighting health issues for the last several years, but was involved in a regular game as recently as January 2008.

Gygax and Arneson created Dungeons and Dragons in 1974. It merged storytelling, dice, and medieval and mythical worlds. The odd-shaped dice made it stand out from other games, particularly along teen boys. And its influence was felt in video games, books, and movies even to the current day and beyond. Wizards of the Coast will be releasing Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition a year from now and has been actively working on several versions (3.0, 3.5, and 4.0) for the last decade.

From my own life, I was exposed to Dungeons and Dragons in Junior High — back in the 1980s. It was me and a few friends who learned the rules, read voraciously, and invented characters that went on to live in infamy as the killers of Tiamat. Yes, we were young geeks.

Dungeons and Dragons made me a better reader, a better critical thinker, and much more creative than I already was. Since then, those elements have continued in my life. I love gaming. It’s immersive entertainment that has no equal.

Though Gygax will be missed, his legacy will continue on forever in my mind. He and Arneson created a whole new way to play that will never end.

Gary, you will be missed.

–Fitz

Comments

  1. As the father of D&D, he is the only father I knew, D&D has been so important in my life that I feel the farewell of Gary Gygax as a huge loss.
    He was the only person in industry that I have notices that was defending still the medieval kind of role, and not the new DND of Hasbro.
    Yesterday I was very sad, today I gotta gather the party for another session after some years.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. A friend and I were discussing the “good old days” of college when we had cool adventures together that it will be hard to top or even equal.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. ::the halfling worshipper of fate tosses her coin in the air, not caring about the outcome, but wishing her creator the best of luck in whatever realm he chooses to join::

    Okay, cheesy, but if it weren’t for him, I would not have my beloved alter egos in any of the Realms – Forgotten, Greyhawk, whatever!!!

    I did post a ‘thank you’ on my own blog, and I am glad to have read yours!!!

    I may have to bury a d20 just for the occasion…

  4. Based on my week, his passing was, alas, just a blip on the radar screen. While I don’t claim to remotely know much about him, it is truly profound what an influence he and his game group had on such a diverse set of people.

    It’s always a shame to lose a good role model; his influence and passion will be missed by the game industry and gamers.

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