Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Gary Gygax's Legacy

By now you've probably seen that Gary Gygax has passed away, aged 69. Everyone from role-players to game designers and critics, fantasy and science fiction writers and technologists have lauded his life, with testimonials about how Dungeons & Dragons has influenced their lives. I am no different.

My father bought the Basic Set for me and my brother when I was 8 and we had many role-playing sessions together, initially with the family, and later with my close school friends. My most favourite experiences were with a university-based role-playing group that I attended when I was fifteen or so in a campaign run by Klaude Thomas of GURPS: Goblins fame.

I went on to amass a large library of role-playing games, particularly focusing on Traveller and Call of Cthulhu, which I bequeathed to a friend when I finally emptied out my storage unit some three years ago. But D&D, particularly the 2nd Edition, has always had a special place in my heart, and the Forgotten Realms home to my most successful campaigns as a Dungeon Master. And the large amount of my game design aspirations and inspirations come from thinking about RPG design.

It's not every day that you get to take part in creating something that has become as profoundly influential to many as chess, Go or poker. Gary Gygax never outgrew his original roots as the co-designer of Dungeons and Dragons, but he never needed to. Thank you.

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