Gary Gygax, Dungeons and Dragons Co-Creator, Dies, 69

March 05, 2008 03:15 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Considered “the father of modern gaming,” Gary Gygax died of an abdominal aneurysm on March 4. Gamers reflect on the legacy of a geek icon.

30-Second Summary

An enthusiast of fantasy novels and storytelling by night and insurance underwriter by day, Gary Gygax, the co-creator of multimillion-dollar gaming empire Dungeons and Dragons, passed away on March 4.

With his collaborator Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax helped create the famous role-playing game in 1974. Players create fantasy characters whose various attributes are determined rolling dice.

An estimated 20 million people have played Dungeons and Dragons, spending over $1 billion on products for the game.

The game has become synonymous with the socially inept class of young people whose eccentric enthusiasms define them as geeks.

Long fascinated by fantasy and science fiction, Gygax surprised no one when he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, his local paper, that he and Arneson were unquestionably “influenced by Tolkien.”

Steve Jackson, the curator of Games Daily Illuminator, a Web site for role-playing enthusiasts, writes that without Gygax’s Dungeons and Dragons, “fantasy fiction would still be a backwater” and that March 4, already celebrated as “Game Master’s Day,” will be remembered as “the day when the best-known Game Master of all time put down his dice.”

Headline Link: ‘Dungeons and Dragons Creator Dies’

Biography: Gary Gygax (1938–2008)

Related Topic: The musings of a geek

Opinion & Analysis: ‘Fantasy fiction would still be a backwater’

Reference: Gary Gygax’s works


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