Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"It comes from the Greek word for giant"

One of my favorite remembrances of Gary Gygax is this one at The Onion's pop culture site, the AV Club. Like the author I was one of the lonely thousands of kids for whom D&D was a mostly solitary escape. He captures the mix of gladness and melancholy I feel remembering the many hours I spent reading and re-reading the DMG and running Keep on the Borderlands as a solo adventure.

I was surprised at how much Gary's death affected me. I'd collected some 3rd Edition books, but I hadn't actually played D&D or any other role-playing game more than once in eighteen years. And while I had come to see how warm and generous Gary could be with his fans and admirers, I never met him, nor even interacted with him in one of the various online forums he visited. But the news stung. And more than that, it was a memento mori: the mysterious and distant oracle of my youth, the sage and scholar whose work I annotated, was simply a man, and was gone.

That's when I resolved to turn my lifelong, if intermittent, love for D&D and other games into something more than a solitary pursuit -- a few weeks later I started this blog, a month later I played in a pick-up game. Now I'm playing once or twice a week and hoping to run a Basic/Labyrinth Lord game at the local D&D meet-up. I have Gary to thank for that.

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