March 17, 2008

E. Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)

The man primarily responsible for the view of fantasy in the modern era sadly passed away on the 4th of March 2008. His name was E. Gary Gygax and he was one of the co-partners involved in creating, designing and publishing Dungeons & Dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons was the first real game of its kind in the world. A system of rules to allow for collaborative improvisation in a fantasy setting. From humble beginnings, its now a game known worldwide and has spawned a myriad number of other roleplaying games, wargames and computer games that all trace their lineage back to that first set of simplistic rules in a pamphlet of a rule book.

I was first introduced to D&D back in 1979, when I was but 7. My brother had had the basic edition box set purchased for him by a family friend but he really didn't get into it. I, on the other hand, loved the idea and spent hours reading up on the rules and on the examples of gameplay. I finally could actually immerse myself in a fantasy world where elves were the good guys and orcs were the bad guys and where, most importantly, I could change the outcome of that.

These days D&D is most prominently compared to its online successor World of Warcraft. But WoW is not a proper immersive setting, nor do any of your actions change anything in the game.

For that alone, I think WoW is years behind D&D.

Returning to Gary Gygax, there has been a marked outcry from gamers around the globe on the best way to honour his memory. Some have made joking remarks such as "Roll for 1d4 minutes of silence".

But I think the best way to honour Gary would be to create and name a deity in his name. And so, in all my games, there shall be...

"Zagyg, the God of Gaming"

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