The ultimate dungeon master - Gary Gygax (second from the right in the pic above, next to Stephen Hawking), co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons passed away today after battling numerous illnesses the past few years. He was 69 years old.
While this won't mean much to many gaming fans, for gamers of a certain age (myself included) this is a sad loss. Dungeons & Dragons were video games before video games. Back in my day we didn't have consoles or PC's! We had D&D and we liked it! It was a game for the mind and heavily influenced much of what the industry has become today. This is what guys played, well nerdy guys anyway, before Halo or World of Warcraft or Super Mario. The universe Gygax invented helped spur the imagination of tons of people who would eventually move not just into the gaming industry but the movie and TV biz as well. When video games became popular, it gave creative people a chance to put the stories and actions that could previously only be represented on paper and through 20-sided dice into a visual medium. Gygax has had just as much of an influence on gaming as Shigeru Miyamoto, Nolan Bushnell, or Ken Kutaragi.
Once I saw the story of Gygax's passing on google today, I couldn't help but think of when I used to hang out with a bunch of middel school friends on weekends playing D&D. We'd scarf down cheetos and grape soda as the dungeon master led us through some crazy adventures. We'd make fun of each other and have a great time and stay up until 3am. Those were great times. Thanks for the memories Gary, rest in peace.