Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gary Gygax ran out of Hit Points.

Gary Gygax, co-inventor of Dungeons & Dragons, the fantasy-based role-playing game, died today at age 69.

And while today is a day for D&D puns and jokes to run amok (see title of this post), it's also quite sad, as the man had far-reaching influences, not just in his industry, but in other areas of imagination; film, tv, literature, video games and so forth. And there's a nostalgia for the game that is shared by many, many people.

I'm not a huge player of role playing games these days, even though many of my friends are and one of my roommates is even a very successful RPG designer himself.

But as a kid, I spent countless hours flipping through pages of the various D&D books; the Monster Manual, Dungeon Master's Guide, Players Handbook and Deities and Demigods kept me company on many of the long, summer vacation road trips with my mother. Not even playing with anyone else, I amused myself just building characters, rolling out battles with various monsters, collecting random treasure off the treasure tables... all sitting on the floor of the backseat of my mom's station wagon as we headed to whatever camp ground or farm was on the agenda for that summer.

I don't play today, but Gygax's work was a steady companion for an only child on long stretches of highway.

So rest in peace, Gary. May the Gods of Greyhawk tremble at your approach.

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