Gary Gygax R.I.P

Confirmed here.

There really isn’t a person in the video game industry who doesn’t owe him at least a some small debt.

Oh I dunno, I don’t think the board wargamers–a field that helped put computer games into the mainstream just as much as RPGS–or flight simmers really owe that much to Gygax, but what he did helped grow this industry and gaming in general.

— Alan

We did an interview with him in 2003 on a site that is no longer around, so I republished it. Pardon the self-linking, but I think it’s appropriate in this case.

I love this part:

Q. As far as you know, what was the basic evolution of polyhedral dice? If they existed prior to the creation of Dungeons & Dragons, what were they used for?

A. To the best of my knowledge I introduced them to gaming, en masse, with D&D in 1974. I found sets of the five platonic solids for sale in a school supply catalog back in 1972, and of course ordered them, used them in creating the D&D game.

Wow … that’s very sad news.

Is this definitely confirmed? I did a search on Google News and found nothing… was looking for a mainstream news agency to corroborate.

Assuming it is true, this is a very sad day for gamers everywhere, IMO. Above all RPG gamers.

Gygax is one of the true giants… he’ll be missed.

Sad news. I was a big D&D player in my highschool and university days.

The message boards that announced it are from his current publisher so I think it’s probably true.

Hence the phrase “some small debt”.
:shakes head:

Wasn’t Chainmail (the precursor to D&D the Gygax made) basically a board wargame?

Oh man. RIP.

Yes, and he co-authored it. You could say he was key, if not the person responsible for role playing as a game form.

Did Gygax ever work on a computer game project?

Sad news indeed, without gary my youth wouldnt been what its been…

That is indeed sad news. I guess at the very least he didn’t have to see his system raped yet another time with 4.0. :(

Very sad news. May he RIP.

Oh jesus. Go away.

That’s too bad. Maybe I’ll get a group together and run Tomb of Horrors in his honor or something.

God, shut up.

Man that bums me out. I still remember the day I talked my parents into driving me to a slightly bigger town that had a decent gaming store so I could buy the Blue Box Basic D&D set. Didn’t even have dice; it had those little chits you had to manually cut out. Hard fucking core, my friend.

From there, my little group of misfit gamers would make a pilgrimage to that gaming store every few weeks. From the Basic set we hopped to stuff like Boot Hill, Gamma World, Traveller (still my favourite) and of course the 1st edition AD&D books. I spent countless hours lost in those worlds, those Friday nights spent playing D&D were probably the happiest moments of my otherwise irritating childhood.

I stopped playing D&D after discovering punk rock and girls, pretty much in that order, but I never stopped being a D&D nerd in my heart. I hope Gygax knew how much fun he brought to us kids back in the day.

I met him at a Sci-Fi convention (Imaginecon?) at Virginia Beach back in 2000. It was funny listening to him taking swipes at the advances, at least as I saw them, in how games better supported roleplaying elements. Mocking elitists and roleplayers. Evidently the success of games like Vampire: The Masquerade among others didn’t sit well with him or it was the way the new generation of roleplayers looked on AD&D as what kids play until they want to get “serious”.

That said, I held my peace until he was done and when I finally got to shake his hand I had to thank him for, well, changing my world. (It was either that or threatening a lawsuit for screwing it up by introducing me to such an addictive pasttime - the former seemed the better way to go.) What I do remember best is that I’d totally forgotten to tell him who I was, I was actually a little nervous oddly enough, but he asked me for my name.

I’m gonna swing by the 7-11 tonight and pick up a 20. This one’s for the homies. You’ll be missed GG.

They sell d20s at your local 7-11? I don’t think mine even has d6s.

A sad day. He will be missed.

Note to madkevin: Stop having the same childhood I did! (Traveller is what I wanted Mass Effect to be)

I’ll be hoisting some drink to this magnificant bastard of a geek tonight (Gary, not madkevin).