It’s kind of a sad day. This guy was a bit of a legend in the nerdy circles I used to run in. And by “run” I mean eat cheezies and drink a 2-litre bottle of Coke while playing Dungeons & Dragons.
D&D master Gary Gygax was a nerd’s nerd
Set both of your 20-sided die to 0-0, raise the Monster Manual to half-staff and spend your 14th level ranger’s next several turns hoisting a few pints of ale – even if that does mean losing some hit points along the way.
If none of that makes any sense, then you probably didn’t take much notice when Gary Gygax died earlier this week. But for those of us who spent our Friday nights huddled around a hexagonal map scattered with lead figurines of dwarves and owlbears, instead of the spiked punch bowl at the junior prom, this is a very mournful week. Our nerd king has fallen.
Gygax was the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, and the godfather of role-playing games. The legacy of D&D is most apparent today in its huge impact on video games and social networking. (Don’t fool yourself. Dungeons & Dragons and Second Life are a lot more similar than you think.) For many of us who played, however, the name Gygax conjures up the past: a short but meaningful era when we lost ourselves for hours at a time in a fantasy world created with pen and paper and lots of imagination.