March 04, 2008
I actually played only a little Dungeons and Dragons, but I played a LOT of RPGs when I was younger. That entire niche industry was started by him.
Today, when people think of RPGs many are thinking in terms of computer games. Gygax was able to help people achieve a similar experience with pencil, paper a few dice and their imaginations.
The computer game industry actually owes him a greater debt than many know as his system was to varying degrees the inspiration for many of the most successful games out there. Indeed, the lucrative MMORPG genre was in effect "play tested" by Gygax and his players for 20 years before the tech caught up.
Like many of those who played his games, Gary Gygax was a self described nerd, but in the final analysis, he brought a lot of people considerable enjoyment.
...and that is a better legacy than many will ever have.
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