On Gygax

By now, any D&D gamer knows of Gary Gygax’s passing.

I like XKCD’s tribute the best:

RIP RPG

(The last panel might be cut off, so here’s the external link.)

Another unlikely tribute: on the NPR newsradio gameshow, _Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me_ has a segment called “Not My Job”. This week, it was U.S. Dept. of Education’s Secretary Margaret Spelling competing in “You’re a 17th-Level Mage with a Wand of Power and Plus 8 Charisma.” Since she, a decidedly NON-gamer, was playing on behalf of a guy stationed in Iraq, the NPR folks gave *lots* of hints so that she’d win. 🙂

I didn’t grow up RPGing. My geeking tended toward sci-fi (like Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, and Japanese techno-anime). But in the ’80s, I did dabble in Choose Your Own Adventure books (including writing my own in a contest open to middle-schoolers — it sucked), watched the D&D cartoon, and played way too many sessions of Zork (including being on the mailing list for the New Zork Times). So when I met actual gamers in college, I wasn’t hopelessly clueless of what was going on. But I still always preferred being a spectator to campaigns rather than being a player or DMing.

With that disclaimer being said, I see Gygax’s influence in geek fantasy culture. Ren faires, LOTR fandom, and online RPGs wouldn’t be as immensely popular today if it weren’t for tabletop gaming with all of those rulebooks, IMHO.

And so I lift my metaphorical +3 mug of mead to Gygax.

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About lizardqueen

If single-mothering were a paid job, I'd be rich. However, it doesn't, so I write (which doesn't pay the bills) and teach (which does). I'm overly-educated in the liberal arts, but that doesn't hinder my ability to be pragmatic and realistic. YAY.
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