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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

Architect of the Now

Wired editor Adam Rogers wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times eulogizing Gary Gygax, crediting him with grandfatherhood over all virtual vistas:

Today millions of people are slaves to Gary Gygax. They play EverQuest and World of Warcraft, and someone must still be hanging out in Second Life. (That “massively multiplayer” computer traffic, by the way, also helped drive the development of the sort of huge server clouds that power Google.)

But that’s just gaming culture, more pervasive than it was in 1974 when Dungeons & Dragons was created and certainly more profitable — today it’s estimated to be a $40 billion-a-year business — but still a little bit nerdy. Delete the dragon-slaying, though, and you’re left with something much more mainstream: Facebook, a vast, interconnected universe populated by avatars.

Maybe he's overstating, but he's not far from the point: Dungeons and Dragons changed the world that may not yet be fully appreciated by anyone but the hobby's truest disciples. It influenced an entire generation that is now coming into their own. In a very real way, Gygax was, in Rogers' words, "the architect of the now".

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Comments on Architect of the Now
  Comment from Blogger MacFurious at Monday, March 17, 2008 2:43:00 AM
I admit, calling Facebook an indirect result of Gygax's work "far-reaching" but I will not refute that WoW and EQ and all of their cousins would not exist if it were not for PnP gaming at it's core.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.