Word came over the wire today that after a period of failing health, Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons and Dragons has passed away.
To say that Mr. Gygax had in impact on my childhood is an understatement. Dungeons and Dragons is woven into the very fiber of my being like no other game. While I never got into the huge, weekly matches that so many enjoyed, when I was a kid, Dungeons and Dragons was the first, and usually best way to identify that someone else was a fellow geek, before the internet served as a place to call home. I used to spend hours lying in bed reading the different monster manuals and just staring at all of the pictures. I'd dream that I was a paladin, or a dashing rogue going on some dungeon crawl in search of treasure. The Deities and Demigods book was of particular interest to me as I was huge into mythology at the time and I loved how the gods in the book matched up with what I had learned from other books. Besides, how else would an 8 year old learn about Babylonian gods and goddesses such as Tiamat?
My favorite video game of all time, Baldur's Gate 2 is based on Dungeons and Dragons and it was due to the incredible richness of the character classes that I grew to love it so much. Hell, my band in Rock Band is called "Saving Throw" and their first album is "We Roll Twenties". So while I may not have put in the time crouched around a table rolling to see if you can pick up the arm of the ogre you just dismembered and use it as a club (actually I have done that) Dungeons and Dragons has influenced so much of the gamer geek culture I hold dear, and so much of the gamer geek that I am incredibly proud to be, that this is a very said day. A said day indeed.
Thank you Mr. Gygax for everything you did. Safe journey and I hope there's nothing but platinum pieces, tankards of ale and elven maidens for you from here on out.