Thursday, July 27, 2017

More OSR Commentary - Happy International Gary Gygax Day!

So today is the birthday of one of the creators of not just Dungeons & Dragons but the modern table top role playing game hobby Gary Gygax. For the OSR & indeed millions of gamers across planet Earth its Gary Gygax day today. This was a man who wrote, designed, gamed, &  lived life on his own terms. This is how I still think of Gary Gygax, I found a picture of him at a September 1999 Modcon  event in Italy the photo of the man by Moroboshi. This is how I still think of  Mr.Gygax out in the world promoting the hobby, playing the game that made him famous, giving advice, playing the war & board games he loved, & spending time with the family he loved.

In the minds of friends & family its his birthday, a today is a bitter sweet reminder that friend, father, & man who touched so many lives is gone. Yet for  many of his friends & family he seems alive to this day, his memory alive kept by the Gygax family & friends through Garycon.  Do I have a Gary Gygax story? Yes I have several. But the one that sticks in my mind goes something like this.

I met Gary Gygax very briefly at a Gencon  & that encounter sticks in my mind. I spoke with Gary Gygax about his involvement with shoe patch & leather working  sewing machines. The guy with the easy going manner,who took the time to speak for a few minutes with me(a fan), signed something Dungeons & Dragons related & then got whisked way by another Dungeons & Dragons fan. Well that brief encounter was enough for me. I got a pretty good measure of who the man was a down to Earth guy but  a sharp and very intelligent gamer & author. This was a guy who would happily mop the floor with you across a war gaming board or kill off a PC if your actions dictated it. Years later, I was reading through a Game Spy Gary Gygax interview on the history of Dungeons & Dragons by
Allen Rausch which bore this exact sentiment out.
Because of my father's condition(he's fine but I've had to pick up a lot of the slack in the sewing machine repair business) I don't know when I'll make GaryCon but eventually I will. In the meantime to celebrate the day I intend to do a bit of campaign brainstorming and gaming with friends tonight. So get together with friends, chuck some dice, and celebrate the birthday of one of the creators of  this crazy hobby of ours! Game on!

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