There is something really interesting, and I think very healthy, happening in the gaming community right now. If you haven’t heard that Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons and other games as well, died recently, then you probably want to skip this post because it won’t interest you that much 🙂
If, like me, his death has had more impact that you expected, then read on my friend, read on.
I listen to a lot of gaming podcasts, and many of them have been releasing Gary Gygax memorial shows of various types in the past few weeks. Its interesting to watch my little geeky community collectively grieve. I listen to these…digital wakes you might say…and I also reflect on the course I’m taking on Death, Dying and Grieving.
Over and over again, I hear from people that Gary’s passing has affected them more than they would have thought. I’m definitely in that camp. Like most of these people, I haven’t met him in person, so its odd that it has this impact. On the other hand, I spent most of the weekends of my life for probably six years total playing games he had created or helped to create. I’ve read his book on “role-playing mastery” and so on.
Part of it is that this feels like a young hobby. Its only been around for about thirty years or so. But then again, that’s a generation and a half isn’t it.
Anyway, the point of this was just to take note of the healthy ways that I’m seeing people grieve about this collective loss. People are talking about how it makes them feel. They are thanking him for what he’s given to the hobby. They are reminiscing about past fun that they’ve had playing Gary’s games. They’re expressing regret at the loss that they didn’t know would hit them so hard. Its just…good grief, which in a country that is obsessed with youth and immortality (and ironically, violence) is so rare.
For those of you who might be interested, here are a few examples:
The Bear’s Grove Gary Gygax Memorial Podcast, including 3.5 Private Sanctuary, Accidental Survivors, All Games Considered, Canon Puncture, Fist Full of Comics and Games, The Game Master Show, The Rolemonkeys, Wapcaplets