The man largely responsible for the creation of Dungeons and Dragons has passed away. Gary Gygax died on Tuesday at the age of 69, much like when I learned of Madeline L'Engle's passing, this makes me sad.
Mostly, when someone of celebrity passes, I note it and then move on with my day, but occasionally someone passes that makes me stop and note a true loss to the world at large. Gary Gygax is one of those people. I was one of those kids that never really "fit". I was too smart for most of the kids my own age and to young to hang out with adults. I read, I created...I was an anomaly. And then I discovered D&D. Playing D&D I could immerse myself in a world where the creatures I read about on the pages of books came to life. I got to battle them and do things that were sometimes heroic...and sometimes not so heroic. And the best part was, there were six other people sitting at the same table who all got into it just as much as me.
Every Saturday we weren't to "smart kid" or the "weird kid" or the "dork" or the "jock" or any of the other lables forced on us by society at large. We were a group united in a common cause. We fought as one. We were friends and companions. Our world was rich and colorful and nothing could hurt us. It was a wonderful place to be. And we owed it all to a man named Gary Gygax.
So, Thanks Gary, wherever you are now. I hope there's a table waiting and a set of dice warmed up. We'll miss you!