Happiest of birthdays to the late Gary Gygax, Father of Dungeons and Dragons!
In 1974, Gygax, along with co-creator Dave Arneson, released the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons! And the world hasn’t been the same since. Gygax and his co-creators worked to produce something that at the point didn’t exist – a fantasy role playing game. D&D and its successors generated one of the first (and best!) nerd subcultures – tabletop gaming and fantasy roleplay.
Gygax was a lover of fantasy novels and of military role-playing games, but no one up until that point had successfully combined the two. His spark of imagination made millions of us nerds around the world even nerdier!
“There’s a call to adventure,” Gygax once said. “It’s something in the inner psyche of humanity…”
And it must have felt pretty adventurous for Gygax to produce something so new. He and his two partners each invested $1000 in the original game, releasing only 1,000 copies the first year. Forty years later, over 20 million nerds around the world have gathered with friends at D & D tables for a game of true adventure. So happy birthday to (the late) Gary Gygax! You are missed, but your legacy lives on at the kitchen tables and in basements of fantasy nerds around the world!
To celebrate this special day, we dug up some “D-Day” facts for you!
1. The original conception of Dungeons and Dragons was simply called “The Fantasy Game,” but the name was changed at the suggestion of Gygax’s wife.
2. Dungeons and Dragons, the movie, released in 2000, has made several lists of the worst movies of all time. It has a score of 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.
3. Dragon magazine, a dedicated periodical for everything D&D until the internet came along, had its own “Dear Abby” column, called, “Dear Sage,” (link: http://comicsalliance.com/weird-dd-questions-dungeons-dragons/) where readers asked questions such as: “Do real barbarians eat quiche?” Answer: “Real barbarians would hack and slay anyone who offered them quiche to eat, and would then stomp the quiche until it was totally flat. Barbarians are like that. –Dragon #79”
Pretty great, huh? Now, how will you celebrate Gary Gygax’s birthday? Pull out your version of D&D, or just pop in the movie and cringe? –Lauren Byrant