Yesterday, the co-creator of the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax, died at his home after lengthly illness.
Dunegons and Dragons is possibly one of the most important and relevant aspects of fantasy geekdom. The game, invented in 1974, has become an enduring and massive cultural phenomenon, which has taught like minded people imagination and creativity.
I first started playing at Camp, with a couple of friends – we were known as the geek squad – nearly eight years ago. I look back on those gaming sessions with fondness, and look forwards to picking it up again sometime in the future.
D&D seems to be an almost universal bonder for a huge number of geeks out there. Most geeks have dabbled in it at some point, and it’s a source of many hours of entertainment. In a world where that term increasingly means whatever is displayed on a television screen, it’s a shot of imagination.
The game has gotten a bad rep from a number of groups, who’ve insisted that the game leads to violence, satanism and the whole nine yards. I’ve always stressed, in camp classes devoted to D&D and other fantasy games, that these games teach creativity, adventure and imagination.
Gary will be missed by fans of the game all over the world – he apparently played the game regularly with fans until January, and was always excited to learn when the game helped somebody or made an impact in their life.
In the wise words of Penny Arcade this morning, he’ll be rolling in his grave.