This week we lost a man who was truly an inspiration and a visionary. Game designer Gary Gygax passed away this week. He was 69 years old.
Gary is best remembered as one of the creators of the game Dungeons and Dragons. Many argued the game was evil, satanic and have even tried to link it to problem teens but the truth of the matter is Gary created a new type of game that got kids to use their imagination. There will always be troubled youth and as a result parents and social groups always look for something or someone to point the blame at other then themselves. In this case they found a game that in inspiring imagination, did so with monsters and demons.
Unfortunately imagination is something drastically lacking in today's world and toward the end of Gary's life he grew disappointed in that his ideas and game were slowly being ported into the world of computers. Personally I have to agree with Gary's views in that computers take away the key element of his game. Kids (and adults) get together and play as a group... not as a nameless person somewhere in cyberspace. And as they sit around a table playing, a Dungeon Master creates puzzles and problems that they must think their way out of. There are no set ruler saying you must solve the problem this way, instead players are left to think up what they feel is the best solution to the challenge they face.
This ability to think for ones self and try to solve problems presented to us is something we are slowly losing in this country. People no longer think for themselves. They no longer try to solve their own problems. Instead they look to the government to do it for them. So I hope we'll have more men and women in the future like Gary Gygax who strive to bring back imagination, personalization and independent thought.
So long Gary, have fun playing at that big game table on the other side!