Wednesday, March 05, 2008
RIP Gary Gygax
Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, passed away at the age of 69. He co-created the game with Dave Arneson and inspired legions of geeks and not-so-much-geeks with his board game which lead to cartoon shows, video games and has now even inspired an entire genre of computer games. My first exposure to Dungeons and Dragons was with the Intellivision game "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons". You made your way through the dungeon and hoped you didn't run into the Minotaur too soon. Different books gave you different powers, like seeing through walls and another that allowed you to walk through walls. Then I watched the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon and really enjoyed seeing the characters almost make it out of the Dungeon, only to be whisked back into the world of monsters and magical spells. Wiki page with characters and others.
Fast forward about 20 years and the next time I ran across Gary Gygax was while watching Futurama and he made a guest appearance during the Anthology of Interest I episode where Fry asks the "What If" machine what if he had never been frozen and thawed in the future. Turns out he is supposed to and a team of nerds (the Vice Presidential Action Rangers) lead by Al Gore and the other team members are Stephen Hawking, Nichelle Nichols and Gary Gygax.
Gary still hosted D&D games as most recent as January and loved hearing stories from people who grew up playing his game.
Thanks Gary and our thoughts go out to your wife and 6 grandkids.
Edit:I almost forgot to tell you why Gary's appearance on Futurama was so cool. When he first meets Fry, he says "It's a *rolls his dice* pleasure to meet you!" Always leaving it up to the die. Then after Fry successfully destroys all of existence, Fry and the VP Action Rangers are floating in nothingness, so Gary asks if anyone would like to play Dungeons and Dragons for the next quadrillion years. Then Al Gores says he's a Level 10 Vice President and Nichelle Nichols
, who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek says "Great an eternity with nerds. It's like the Santa Monica convention all over again." Ah, good times.
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