Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chauncey's World of Ghetto Nerds: Dungeons and Dragons Creator Passes Away

We now interrupt Negro History Week to bring you a special announcement:

Dungeons and Dragons was lots of fun, especially for socially awkward black kids in the semi-suburbs. You could hang out with your friends, and if you had a cool person running the campaign you could easily pass the time every Friday and most Saturdays of your middle school and High School years. Better yet, (and yes the games with its "high fantasy" setting could be a bit too European and Nordic for my taste) it was a world where race didn't matter and you could play a Moor (or its equivalent) paladin who was neutrally aligned--it added a little bit of mystery to my character. Anticipating your questions, no, I do not know what character class Marlon Wayans was supposed to represent in the horrible film adaptation:

My parents thought D and D was a cult because of the Tom Hanks movie, Mazes and Monsters:

But, they let me play it anyway because it kept me off the streets and my friends were good "middle class" kids.

Gary Gygax, Dungeons & Dragons creator, dies

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Gary Gygax, who co-created the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva. He was 69.

He had been suffering from health problems for several years, including an abdominal aneurysm, said his wife, Gail Gygax.

Gygax and Dave Arneson developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 using medieval characters and mythical creatures. The game known for its oddly shaped dice became a hit, particularly among teenage boys, and eventually was turned into video games, books and movies.

Gygax always enjoyed hearing from the game's legion of devoted fans, many of whom would stop by the family's home in Lake Geneva, about 55 miles southwest of Milwaukee, his wife said. Despite his declining health, he hosted weekly games of Dungeons & Dragons as recently as January, she said.

"It really meant a lot to him to hear from people from over the years about how he helped them become a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, what he gave them," Gygax said. "He really enjoyed that."

Dungeons & Dragons players create fictional characters and carry out their adventures with the help of complicated rules. The quintessential geek pastime, it spawned a wealth of copycat games and later inspired a whole genre of computer games that's still growing in popularity.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Besides his wife, Gygax is survived by six children.


We chocolate nerds will miss in peace Mr. Gygax

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