> TY Gary Gygax!

Sadly, Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, died yesterday.

I grew up playing D&D, which inspired me and countless others with its amazing worlds, magic, characters, and monsters. Some of my fondest memories were at a friend's house or school, rolling the dice. The first drawing I ever did that I thought was any good at all was of my character, a thief with a wolf-head (I was really young). I remember showing it to my parents and seeing the disbelief that I had done that all on my own, and being enrolled in art classes shortly afterward. My parents, unlike many others at the time, saw at least some value in D&D. There were several kids at school who wouldn't play with us because their parents forbid them, on the grounds that D&D leads to devil-worship. While this might sound ridiculous in 2008, consider how the media demonizes video games these days.

Anyway, Gary Gygax was an inspiration to millions, and by all accounts a warm, kind man with a great sense of humor. Hollywood and the video game industry owe a huge debt to him. Without D&D, much of the fantasy we know today simply would not exist. Sure, Tolkein inspired millions (including Gygax) with his books, but D&D gave you a way to continue past the pages, to make the stories personal, to explore and develop worlds and creatures limited only to your own imagination.

Penny Arcade made a rather fitting picture about Gary, appropriately titled, 'Bordering on the Semi Tasteful'. I think he would have loved it.

I think this clip sums it up pretty well - I just love the look on his face when he's listening to the man thank him. He was a man who truly loved and respected his fans.

Update: I came across a couple more interesting articles regarding Gygax.. "Geek Love" from the NY Times, which includes an awesome diagram that I've rehosted here. Also "Five Things We've Learned From D&D", which details how much Gygax has affected current games, from 1UP.com.

Update 2: The original movie I posted got removed, found another link to it tho... Hopefully this one will stay.