No, it’s not time for an update: I could not let this news pass without making note of it.
By now you must have heard that E. Gary Gygax passed away. His death could not go without mention here, for his work was a big part of my life for nearly 30 years. Without Dungeons & Dragons I would not be who I am now. (And stop snickering at that line! I know where you live, ya know…)
In truth, one of the bigger components of running and enjoying any RPG is the story that is crafted in the interaction. More important than the pencils and dice (or the software for those too young to been there for pencil-and-paper RPGs) are the plot, the characters, the setting, the pacing… It’s the elements of the story that makes the game, that turns the time with your friends from a conversation into an experience. And had it not been for the games I ran and played in, I’m not sure I would have been a writer with the same skills that I have now, appreciating some of the elements that helped me develop a style.
And this is just the personal, direct influence here. Consider the cultural impact of RPGs through what he made possible, how without character sheets with stats we’d not have the model for modern computer game architecture (and through that computer graphic FX work). Without the gaming culture and the need by gamers for more stuff, especially what you can get out of your CPU, the Information Age might not have come in the US as quickly as it did.
I’m not even going to pretend that I can say anything as eloquently as the good folks whose materials I’m passing along links for below did; sometimes it’s best to just close your mouth and nod over to the other people speaking in the room:
* Aaron Williams’ tribute, including a memorial FULL FRONTAL NERDITY strip:
* Steve Jackson’s tribute at PYRAMID on March 5th, including an excellent suggestion that GM’s Day (ironically on the day Gary died) be re-crafted to remember the most famous GM of all:
* Eric Burns’ full-on tribute, including memories good and bad, at WEBSNARK:
* Rick Burlew’s tribute in a special ORDER OF THE STICK:
My thanks for letting me indulge in a little keening here.