Gary Gygax, who created “Dungeons & Dragons” and by extension the entire role-playing genre of games, died Tuesday, as reported by his publisher, Troll Lord Games. Gygax was 69.
Gygax adapted miniature war gaming to a fantasy setting, when he and Dave Arneson created “Dungeons & Dragons” in 1974. In a 2004 interview with GameSpy, Gygax said his main inspirations were fantasy writers Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague DeCamp and Fritz Lieber.
Gygax was four times named “Game Inventor of the Year” by the U.K.-based Games Day and founded GenCon, the long-running hobby convention, in 1968. He helped to create nine other games and was a producer on the “Dungeons & Dragons” cartoon series.
“Dungeons & Dragons” was in the news in the 1980s as some groups blamed the game for suicides and linked it with the occult.
“I mean, there wasn’t a shred of evidence or veracity in any of those claims,” Gygax told GameSpy. “I knew it, and a lot of people told me that, including mothers of two of the children who had committed suicide.”
In the GameSpy interview, Gygax told the interviewer how he hoped to be remembered:
“I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else.”
– Matt Price