It was first reported on Troll Lord Games Message Board. I have to admit, when a co-worker told me about Gary Gygax’s passing I didn’t believe it. But then more and more mainstream news outlets started picking up the story. By the time I saw Gary Gygax on the front page of Google News I knew it must be true.
I’ve never met Gary Gygax. I was never one to attend the big conventions like GenCon where I might have had a chance to shake his hand or tell him how much I loved the game. So I cannot comment on the man. Nevertheless, it has caused me to think about the game that Gary and Dave made, and what he means to me as an avid D&D player.
Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson created D&D back in 1974. Personally, I have been playing the game since around 1979. I was very young at the time, and the game had a profound effect on me. I doubt if I would have the deep seated love of fantasy literature that I do now. It expanded my vocabulary, introducing me to words like paladin, encumbrance, and phantasm.
I’m not especially outgoing. I’m not an athlete. But playing Dungeons and Dragons gave me an outlet to be social. It gave me an outlet to be creative. I am still in contact with many of the friends I played D&D with over the years. The same cannot be said of the people I met in high school, or even college.
I think about my current gaming group. We are a pretty disparate group of people. If we weren’t all D&D players, I am not even sure many of us would have met. But our love of this hobby brings us together twice a month like clockwork.
So thank you Gary. Thanks for starting this whole ball rolling. I believe the world is a better place because of it.