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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 M√ľnchhausen

Gary Gygax, R.I.P.

I am nearly speechless at the news I received today (via Damion Schubert): Gary Gygax has passed away at the age of 69. I had the honor of meeting Gary just once many years ago, at I-CON. I wanted to tell him that he had changed my life, that I was in awe of his talent, but all I could manage was a smile as I shook his hand.

Gary Gygax was instrumental in developing and popularizing a revolution in gaming. Dungeons and Dragons was something new: a game about structured stories. A game whose only limits were your imagination. D&D helped at least one lonely nerd escape his terrible childhood home life, make friends even though he didn't really know how, and discover countless hours of joy and camaraderie at the gaming table rolling dice into the wee hours of the morning. Gary Gygax made all of that possible through the sheer power of his imagination.

I know that my words can never repay the debt that I owe to him. I didn't say it when I had the chance, but I will say it now: thank you. Thank you for letting me know that I need not be ashamed of the desire to create strange new worlds. Thank you for letting me know that there are countless others who believe in heroes. Thank you for being instrumental in creating many of the friendships I cherish today. Thank you for creating the greatest game of all time.

The world at large may not realize it, but I, my friends, and millions of gamers around the world will never forget you for being a true hero of the imagination. Rest in peace, Mr. Gygax.

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Comments on Gary Gygax, R.I.P.
  Comment from Blogger MacFurious at Tuesday, March 04, 2008 7:37:00 PM
:sniffles: I think I may actually write a blog entry today. I agree with everything you said, word for word. There isn't enough that can be said.

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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.