Nerd Grief — Gary Gygax has passed away

You have to be a paste-eater to understand, but the inventor of Dungeons and Dragons — Gary Gygax — passed away yesterday.

Constantine von Hoffman and Tim Abbott are blogging.

Con writes:

“Also at some other time I will tell you the story of how Mrs. Collateral Damage got me to come out of the geek closet. The punch line, though, “How many Friday nights do the you have to spend playing D&D with the guys from Worcester Poly before you admit you’re a nerd?”

In the words of one of my favorite t-shirts: I am not a nerd. I am a 12th level paladin.”


“I grew up with Dungeons & Dragons.  Back in the analog 1970’s, all that virtual reality required were some odd-shaped dice, pencils, graph paper, and above all a passion for all things swords and sorcery and someone to share it with.  While the power of persistent digital worlds has supplanted the bibliocentric medium that Gygax created, it owes a tremendous debt to D&D (as D&D, it must be said, owes another to Tolkien).”

I never played the game — knew some people who did and they were definitely wedgie-bait (not to say either Con nor Tim are deserving of a wedgie). I suppose World of Warcraft has basically ended D&D.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Nerd Grief — Gary Gygax has passed away”

  1. There’s something very powerful about being presented with text-based information and having to drape it with your own imagination.

    (Though I think I’ve heard a similar argument from people who use slide-rules instead of calculators.)

  2. Oh, I probably deserved a wedgie or two. Unfortunately for those who wanted to do the deed, I was 6ft tall and captain of the (very bad) wrestling team in high school.

    And FYI, in fact WOW hasn’t ended D&D at all. It is still a hit with young nerdlings and an increasing number of nerdettes.

  3. -3 Blog Post of Despair! I guess Gary missed his roll.

    Guilty as charged. I blew through my share of dungeon mapping sessions as a youngling when I should have been learning Calculus and the like. I still have my original Monster Manual and dice.

    My favorite recent D&D related item was a comedian who pointed out that most of the people who used to make fun of nerds for playing D&D are now spending their time playing fantasy football.

  4. I played too. My nerd clique went through the phase in highschool and I was proud to say we were co-ed. While I’ve not played WOW, I can appreciate the idea of huge online campaigns and that one can make friends online, etc, etc.

    I think the real movement is how much computers are shaping our socialization process. Where we might have gotten together with a half dozen or so friends and played D & D the way that others might have gone to football games, etc, it was a way for adolescence to socialize and build those interpersonal social skills. One way of many, of course. Now, I see everyone with crackberries, texting OMG LOL or sitting in front of their computer with 42 IM chats open with pretty much their whole peer group.

    Putting the computer in between people changes things – some of it’s good, and some is different. But now I’ve really digressed…

    Great find David.

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