In Memory of Gary Gygax

2009 March 4
by Stupid Ranger

Part of me feels a bit inadequate when faced with honoring Gary Gygax today.  How do you find the right words to honor his memory and express your gratitude for all he gave us?  I gave up on crafting the perfect, eloquent narrative, because every attempt came out wrong.  So here are some of my Gygaxian memories.

My first gaming group was just three of us and the DM.  Dante, of course, was there, along with two friends who lived on the same floor of our dorm.  Chuck & Boyle.  In this campaign, I created one of my favorite characters ever, Lillian.  Then I was included in the “big” game, with about seven other players and Chuck as our fearless DM.  Those were grand days of learning and exploring the realm of RPGs.  And I began to really appreciate the larger community beyond our group, that there were people out there who enjoyed the creativity involved in good roleplaying and the escapism inherent in the experience.  That’s really when I began to appreciate those who created and shaped the RPG experience, especially Gary Gygax.  Here was one of the guys who understood our need for the game experience and provided to us a framework.
I was thrilled to meet him at Gencon a few years ago.  It’s not every day you get to walk up to one of your heroes and shake his hand.  He was kind and funny, and we had a great few minutes talking to him.
I remember sitting in my cubicle a year ago, devestated at the news of his passing.  I had always been a bit of a social outcast in the office; there was only one other person in the office had any exposure to RPGs.  He understood my grief, and it was enough to not feel alone that day. 
At Gencon last year, Dante & I participated in the Grand Gygaxian Dice Collection, both of us donating our first set of dice.  We both thought it was fitting to give back the first set, in memory of all the beginnings.  I remember buying that set of dice (purple & white swirls) from the only game shop in our college town.  Lillian had some great moments and some great failures defined by those dice, and I could think of no better offering.
My life is better for roleplaying, and for that, I thank you, Mr. Gygax.
2 Responses leave one →
  1. Stupid Ranger permalink
    March 4, 2009

    Additional memorials can be found here:

  2. Dave The Game permalink
    March 4, 2009

    Well said.

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