The Many Lives I Have Been.

I can’t let pass the few words I want to say about the death of Gary Gygax, an epic-level hero to so many of us. Like others, I didn’t realize how saddened I’d be by the event, a condition which I’ve heard repeated several times over the past two days. While of course we’re crushed when our friends and loved ones fall ill, it’s the celebrities who seem the most invulnerable, and it’s always a shock when they are no longer in our lives…when they were never really physically in our lives to begin with.

It’s been amazing to see how many people have contacted the store to find out if we’re doing anything to memorialize our Dungeon Master. So we are. After all, we wouldn’t be there without him – hundreds of people of all ages, gathering in the place every week around our many tables, rolling dice and painting miniatures with reckless abandon. The industry and the hobby is massive now, but it’s simple enough to trace its beating heart to one small group of people in the early 1970s, and we’re in business doing the things that we love because of those people, that man, and those minds. Of course, it’s not just the pen-and-paper gamers who owe their alternate worlds to Gary Gygax, and the electronic game industry is lining up to give credit to the foundation of their own occupations and enjoyment.

I don’t get too much of a chance to play games these days, even though I make a living from knowing them and selling them. Role-playing especially, like acting, takes significant preparation, time, and concentration. When I have participated in recent customers’ games, it has been that much more special because of the rarity of the event. But it makes me reflect to my more youthful youth, when I whiled away so many recesses, bus rides, and before-bedtime daydreams of other lives and other worlds. Dungeons & Dragons was responsible for so much in my life – it taught me the importance of reading, learning mythology and history, and how to play well with others…and so much more. I see dozens of others each day who feel the same way, and it’s lovely that in this day, with so many raging storms of argument going on all around the world, so many of us can all agree on something so simple: that our collective imaginations have helped us to be better people.

We can give thanks to Gary for defining what a gamer is. And we’re going to memorialize his life by doing more of it, through the month and throughout our own lives. This is why I’m terribly proud to be a geek, my friends.

 

GaryGygaxMemorial 

4 Responses to “The Many Lives I Have Been.”

  1. hannah_henchman Says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Rob loves D&D and was all sad about the death of Gary Gygax.
    This fitting epitaph gave him a smile this morning–hope it does the same for you: <a href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2008/20080304.jpg” target=”_blank”>http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2008/20080304.jpg

  2. jacesan Says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    *fails saving throw v/s sadness*

  3. mooflyfoof Says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Completely unrelated…
    That icon! Do you know where it's from? It's a photograph by (and of) Caryn Drexl, aka <lj user=aprettybinding>. Her stuff is amazing.

  4. robby_rejected Says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Yep, that turned my whole day into a critical fumble. Gary Gygax was instrumental in creating a whole world for so many people. I know I spent countless hours over the years playing D&D through it's many faces and editions and it made a lot of difference when things were sucky.
    I'll probably be upset about this for a good long time…at least the next 7 turns. He gave us all so much….

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