Today I received an email from my friend Chris that Gary Gygax has passed away. The obituary Chris sent refers to Gary’s most famous creations, Dungeons & Dragons, as “the quintessential geek pastime” (with affection, I believe).
When I got home, I had four more IMs waiting for me from friends (thanks Dan, Tony, Jordan, and Jacob) notifying me of the same, and found that Z. and Lev had already written some nice words on his passing on their respective geek culture blogs.
I wish I had more to say about Gary Gygax himself, but I honestly don’t even know much about him as a figure in the gaming world. I will say, though, that while I get a lot of tips for geeky content here, it’s rare that I see so many people reacting so quickly to the same news. I suppose not everyone’s taking this news entirely seriously (what with all the “saving throw” jokes flying around), but it’s still something of a testament to the influence his work has had, both directly and indirectly, on our lives and our subcultures.
Update, especially for Boston-area readers: Pandemonium Books and Games is having a gathering in Gary Gygax’s honor, potentially this Saturday. Read more.