Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Thursday 27 March 2014

Gail Gygax, widow of Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax, is trying to get a statue to her late husband in Lake Geneva, Wis.:

Since 2009, Gail has been trying to make a Gary Gygax memorial happen in Lake Geneva.

And it should.

Or, at least, some form of a memorial to Gygax, whose influence on contemporary culture is vast and underrated, should happen. As David Ewalt, an editor at Forbes magazine and author of the 2013 history "Of Dice and Men," said, Dungeons & Dragons took the raw materials of Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and revitalized the fantasy genre; it influenced the first generation of video game developers, introducing the now-familiar concept of game characters who could grow, improve, "level up"; Gygax's Gen Con, a role-playing game convention founded in 1968, helped popularize geek conventions (and continues to, decades later).

But most important, Ewalt said, "What Gary did was help give birth to a creative class: filmmakers, writers, TV showrunners. A generation now making art — from the 'Game of Thrones' guys to whomever — learned how to tell a story, and the power of narrative, from first being D&D players in the 1970s and '80s.

I hope they build the statue, and I'll leave a d20 in tribute. I actually played a game with Gygax as DM back in, oh, 1980, right in The Dragon in Lake Geneva. I wish I'd been old enough to appreciate the honor without going all fanboy on him. He seemed amused. And he signed my second-edition Players Handbook, which I still have somewhere.

I miss D&D...

Thursday 27 March 2014 10:55:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink#
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David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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