Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy International Gary Gygax Day!

   There are some days when I somehow manage to drag my fingers across the keyboard & type out some sort of commentary about our collective hobby. Today is one of those days, its Gary Gygax's birthday today. He's been gone from the Gygax family since '08 & his loss has made an incredible impact in so many people's lives. I really don't think that there's a day that goes by when I don't see a Facebook or G+ post about him in some fashion either relating to gaming, family, his impact on someone's life or table. I don't actually know the Mr.Gygax's children all that well except through social media. I met the man once and we didn't actually discuss games but sewing machines. He used to repair shoes way to make ends meet & we spoke about that at Gencon. It was a crystallizing moment for me that here was a man who had such an impact on so many adults and kids, yet he was speaking with everyone and taking time to sign autographs and what not. My big regret was that I didn't take him up on his offer to email him because at that point in my life lots of other stuff was happening as it usually does. But then in '08, I got up went on line and read that Gary Gygax had passed. It was like getting hit with a sledge hammer.
I know & understand that GaryCon has come about, continues to preserve his legacy in gaming. I've never been to GaryCon but its on my bucket list as a gamer. There are personal reasons that have come up in the last few years that might make this a bit of a harder goal to achieve but I'll get to GaryCon in my own time.

I'm trying to sum up what Gary Gygax's legacy means to me as a person; not as a gamer but as a person. I know a ton of writers,game designers,engineers, and all kinds of people  these days through social media as well as real life. Almost every single one of them has been touched by Dungeons & Dragons in some way. The fact that he inspired them and continues to inspire them as a part of the hobby of table top gaming  is something that few people ever achieve in a lifetime and it speaks volumes about the man. Not to mention his impact on gaming, pop culture, wargaming, and much more.

So there's going to be a ton of tributes from the OSR & beyond. I got together last night with my friends & players for our Tuesday night game but for me it was a bit of a bitter sweet experience. We rolled the dice, we advanced the plot of the campaign and as usual things went in unexpected directions. But in the back of my mind there's a bit of a loss about the hobby without Gary Gygax; a giant quiet hole in the world of gaming. Maybe its just me but world of gaming seems somehow smaller without him. Gary Gygax casts a very long shadow in pop culture in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Its a loss that don't think will ever be filled. Again this is just my perceptions and flawed opinions about the matter. That nerd back in '77 is someplace in Hudson New York rolling those funny dice and watching his PC get killed by a skeleton who got the drop on him. In 2016 that same nerd is writing about the death of a man whose game continues to help shape his life and has given him life long friends. That my readers is the real magic of Gary Gygax.
My thoughts are really with the Gygax family today as a whole and please go roll some dice, play some games, and have a grand time!
Happy birthday to Gary Gygax, born today in 1938!
“The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don’t need any rules.”

So get together with friends, roll some dice, and have a grand time of it!

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