Gary Gygax (1938 – 2008).

§ March 5th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized § 4 Comments

Comic book ad, 1982 – art by Bill Willingham

My own interaction with Dungons & Dragons was relatively brief — basically just during my junior high school years. Rather, my interaction as a player was brief, as I ended up ordering and selling the things through our comic book store for many years (until we finally sold off that part of the business).

But, brief as my stint as a player was, I still look back on it with some fondness. I still remember my preferred character (a halfling fighter by name of “Fearless Fred Samsonite” — yes, I named him after luggage…well, I thought it was funny), and I still remember designing dungeons on graph paper, and it was quite a bit of fun for a little while.

Until, that is, one of my crazy neighbors got it into his head that he was going to save the neighborhood children from the satanic influence of D&D, and started passing around tapes of religious programs where the evil of fantasy gaming was revealed for all! I listened to one or two of them, shaking my head in disbelief as one person who called into the show, I remember clearly, claiming his copy of the Dark Tower game was talking to him from the closet at night, and it obviously was possessed by demons! (Or maybe he should have just turned it off before putting it away.)

I thought it was ridiculous, which it obviously was, but my more gullible neighbors bought into it, and that was pretty much that for my childhood D&D experience.

Anyway, at the time I appreciated D&D for what it was, a relatively complex game of imagination and adventure, and probably not a gateway into sin and devil worship.

So thanks, Gary Gygax, for providing me with a game that gave me a chance as a young’un to exercise my brain and my creativity. I may poke fun at what you have wrought once in a while, but there’s no denying that you’re a Geek Icon among Geek Icons, and the world is just a little less geekier for having lost you.

So long, Gary.

4 Responses to “Gary Gygax (1938 – 2008).”

  • […] great “evils of fantasy role playing” thing at the time, but I already talked about it here so you can go back and relive the memories of Progressive Ruin Classic at that link, if you’d […]

  • JRC says:

    Wow, surprised there weren’t more responses to this back in 08. I thought just about every teen between 78-88 (at least) would’ve had some experience and memories w/ the games Gygax wrought.
    I gamed for abuout 2 years, D&D, and a little TMNT on the side. I was terrible in both realms, and had forgiving DMs that made it easy for us to slide on by.
    Still, some good friendships to endure the horrors of HS and JrHS.

  • Mikester says:

    JRC – When I transferred my site from Blogger to WordPress a couple of years ago, the Haloscan comment system didn’t make the transition. There were comments on this post at one point in time!

  • Casey says:

    Mike, care to ask the readers for some D&D related stories? I’d be interested.