By now, of course, every geek on the planet has heard the news. Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons has died. He was suffering from failing health for the last year or so, and finally succumbed. For more information and other links, you can read this article (Link removed).
As a gamer and game designer, I have to take a moment and give a tribute to Gary Gygax, the man who pretty much defined adventure gaming. And, personally, as one who grew up playing D&D, I have to tip my hat to him. For me, in high school, I had few friends. The few that I had were other social outcasts. We drew together for our weekly "game club" role-playing sessions. We played all of them, Traveller, Boot Hill, Top Secret, but mostly we played Dungeons and Dragons. We did some miniatures gaming, too, but by far it was D&D that held us together.
For a young boy with an innovative and creative mind, D&D provided the perfect outlet. One by one, I saw others like me turn to drugs as a way to fulfill their need to explore, but my friends and I could do all that by living our fantasies with swords and wizards.
Unfortunately, for a while, in my life, the game consumed me, and especially my attention and time. My senior year, my grades were horrible. College was even worse.
But in the end, I grew up. Now, there is much that I both like and dislike about the game. I learned a lot about good and evil by playing the game. I learned especially, that even when you're just pretending to be evil, it still can mess with your friendships. And I learned that in the game, you can even find yourself being better and more noble than you might be in real life.
So, I'd like to thank Gary Gygax for making Dungeons and Dragons, and I hope his family is well.