Remembering Gary; Thinking of Dave

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I never got a chance to really meet Gary Gygax. I now regret that, if only because he was responsible, along with Dave Arneson, for a significant influence on my life: role-playing gaming. Since Gary died one year ago today, I’ve taken some time to read the memorials written by other people.

They are heart-felt, touching, and the number of them is astounding.

I was overwhelmed quite quickly by the depth and strength of feeling – and could not help but feel some of it myself. While the memories of interacting with Gary were touching, I also appreciated the reflections that people wrote about regarding role-playing in their own lives. Probably the one I like the most is the advice given by Jeff Rients about how to remember Gary.

So even though I’ve always known Gary from afar, I’ve been remembering him today. Which almost automatically led me to think of Dave Arneson, who is still alive and with us yet today. Dave is the other author of D&D; the one who started it all with Blackmoor, and whose association with Gary led to the creation of D&D. As some of you know, Dave and Gary felt out over business matters related to D&D, and that rift never really healed. As time passed, both of them went on to do other things – Gary to write for other systems after having been shut out of TSR, and Dave to teach game design at Full Sail College in Florida. But it must be remembered that it was the both of them that brought us our favorite hobby.

For everyone mourning Gary, let me suggest that you raise a toast to Dave, and let him know that you appreciate him, as well.