RIP Gary Gygax

Confirmed by his son Ernie, Gary Gygax died in early this morning.

He and I have a strange history together and we certainly butted heads a couple of times, but you gotta hand it to the guy for putting his money where his mouth is and creating a little game that changed the world.

Imagine a world without D&D and the things it spawned.
No Magic: The Gathering.
No Baldur’s Gate.
No Vampire: The Masquerade.
No HeroClix.
No World of Warcraft.

What a strange world that would be.

As I look out across parallel dimensions of “what ifs,” I see a more bookish, even more nerdy chemistry teacher who looks exactly like me and knows none of the wonderful friends I have in this world. So much of who I am today and what I have accomplished in my life (as niche as those accomplishments may be) is because of my experiences with D&D and the choices it let me make.

So … thank you, Gary Gygax. You rolled a 20 on that one.

6 thoughts on “RIP Gary Gygax

  1. First edition was so much Gygax’s baby, and 1e brought a lot of much needed joy into my existence in high school (okay, aside from going through Tomb of Horrors – that, maybe not so much). Even if I’d never touched D&D again after I’d hit 18, I’d still be quite grateful for that.

  2. A world without D&D would be pretty different, when you consider the influence it had on video games, television, movies and literature, amongst other things.

    Add to your list Quake, Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Buffy, Yu-Gi-Oh, the Doom series, and Halo. Without Pokemon, the western anime explosion may never have happened. Without Doom and Quake, the first-person shooter might never have taken over as the dominant video game form.

    Thus, without D&D you can imagine a video game field without first-person shooters, without RPGs, without Halo, without GTA3. Even basic concepts like characters with ability scores and hit points ultimately draw from D&D.

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