The Nerd-Father is Dead.

All hail the Great Nerd-Father, providing dirt-cheap pastimes, easy afternoon hobbies, and 4th-graders with ridiculously well-developed vocabularies.

How many who would scorn you, owe you so deeply.

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  1. Anna

     /  March 4, 2008

    Yeah, I’ve just seen this hit the NWN2 board. Sadful.

  2. blackpine

     /  March 4, 2008

    Here’s to the grandfather of Harry Potter and consistent magic rules in fiction.

  3. I went link jumping for about 10 minutes and ended up here, nice blog.

    D&D was before my time, I always sat out and watched. I remember sifting through my closet mess about a year ago and finding old stat cards, no die though. Brought back the old feelings of being kept outside the circle.

    Hope you don’t die from the plague.

  4. Zathras

     /  March 5, 2008

    So the interesting question is which plane Gygax went to.

  5. Hey, Andrew, welcome to my personal life. I’m still sick as hell, but getting better.

    When you think about exclusion, imagine an American in which you can get beat up for admititng you read the Hobbit.

    That was the US in the late 1970s for me. YOu could literally get the crap beat out of you for being a nerd. So DnD and other things were a real godsend.

  6. actually, that’s a lie. It was early 80s. But the idea that you could actually use your imagination, and not need to have a lot of stuff… was pretty powerful to us in the nerd community.

  7. Alex

     /  March 5, 2008


    Mr Gygax did not go to any plane today. He now is Zygyg the demigod, wondering what crazy things to do to Greyhawk next. Let us drink to his acendence into godhood!

  8. Mike

     /  March 5, 2008

    I’ll drink to that.

    So let’s all “sit at a table in a tavern…” together and toast the man with the greatest plan.

    He lives in all of us nerds. So let’s remember him in the best way possible. Let’s find the looser bullies who picked on us D and D gamers and ask how the car washing business is doing lately…

  9. Mike

     /  March 5, 2008

    Ooooooooooo. For me, I could just bomb his trailer from Fort Sill (so you thought me studying military technology was funny? Can you spell G P S?)

  10. Mike

     /  March 5, 2008

    Actually, I am a poser. I never got picked on for gaming of reading the Hobbit. Nobody in my school ever read so they had no clue what I reading in the first place.

    I got picked on for my taste in music and complete lack of athletic ability.

  11. Happycrow

     /  March 6, 2008

    I had running fights. But truth is, I actually gave better than I got.

    Yes, just because you’re a bully, doesn’t mean you can fight for shit… and I had just enough karate, also a nerd discipline, that it stuck.

    Us FTW.
    I’m waiting for some pissed-off Trekkie to vaporize some random woman who mistreated him as a teenager with an orbital weapon nobody knew he’d gotten launched.

  12. Happycrow

     /  March 6, 2008

    (although I *did* have to fight, just in case any passing stranger doesn’t realize what a pussy I am, what my last post means is “oh, god, they sucked”)

  13. Alex

     /  March 6, 2008

    You deserved to get picked on for your taste in music. Love and Rockets – Gaah! 🙂
    Okay, I’m sorry. I know my eclectic taste in music puts me in a glass house with GPS coordinates for a full spread of HE rounds.

    Seriously – I don’t give a damn about being picked on for being a nerd, luzr, etc – or for playing D&D as part of it all. I thank Gary Gygax for creating worlds that let my imagination run wild, and for giving me a place/methodology to channel all that imagination. That, more than anything is what I would honor him for.

  14. happycrow

     /  March 6, 2008

    Then you missed the point: Gygax created a space in which it was COOL to be that nerd…

  15. happycrow

     /  March 6, 2008

    (ever notice how often “you missed the point” actually means “I did a piss poor job of expressing myself?”)

  16. Alex

     /  March 6, 2008

    Well, for me it was different. It was never cool to be that nerd then (80s, 90s) but what I got from playing the game was teaching my mind about extension of things I had read. I read my father’s copy of the Hobbit, LOTR trilogy, and the Simarillion (although I had to read the last one again when I was 32 to really get it – it’s dense) but after first reading them they were neat imaginative places, but that’s as far as my brain took it. So when I encountered these games and said – “Oh – look at this, you can take something you read and expand upon it, and borrow from this and this and this and make it a game and imagine even more!!!!” that’s when my imagination took off I learned to have fun with my mind and thoughts rather than what I could do on TV, outside, or through sports.
    I got your point just fine, but for me I don’t care about the revenge or saying those who mocked me for playing the game owe so much of their current culture to the guy who founded it. These people won’t know and won’t care anyway. I finally found a way to get rid of that lingering resentment towards these folks years ago. (Sadly I replaced it with other resentment towards different groups, but even then I’m getting rid of it faster than I used to) And unfortunately, not all of those who mocked us ended up in trailers or running the local car wash. Some of them are now business executives pulling all the strings and still squashing nerds and geeks where they can.
    I slightly mourn a great man’s passing, but celebrate what he left behind and what he gave me. Once again I will drink a fine ale this evening to Zagyg Yragrene, and dream of Suloise Intrigue, Dungeon campaigns in the Temple of Elemental Evil, and grand times in the Flaeness.

  17. Mike

     /  March 6, 2008

    Heh, I would say good point on the bullies not all ending up washing cars. Except that in my case that is pretty much exactly what happened. I would like to say that I moved beyond that years ago, and I thought I did. But when you go to your class reunion and find out that your daily terror is a janitor…

    Whoooooooooo, its hard not for some of that to come back.

    And it is REALLY hard NOT to rub it in. For the record I didn’t, I just ignored him. But it was hard to do.

    But your point on why D and D was so cool was spot on. It expanded your mind and opened some doors. You could dream there. And some of us still do, maybe more than is healthy (cough, ANDY, cough, Rifts, cough, me, cough).

    And although I hate to be the guy to bring it up, I have to point out that some of our kin in nerdom are not exactly to be held up as great dreamers and achievers. Who hasn’t run into gamer who still lives with his parents, never dated a girl, has an aversion to baths and spends his money on Stars Wars figures that he never opens? For each person truely enriched and helped out, we also have a looser.

  18. blackpine

     /  March 7, 2008

    Sounds like you have a cough Mike. Maybe you should get a cough drop. Oh, here they are, beside your shelf of every Rifts book ever published including the monthly publication, The Rifter. Let’s open one up. Heroes of the Megaverse. Why look! Your name is in here. What’s that about?

    In fairness, we would have probably been playing fantasy baseball leagues if not this. This had prettier pictures if dorkier roots. And it did broaden the imagination a lot more than the computer games, although the trade off might be in social networks, what with guilds/clans and all. But none of the it would have happened without Gary Gygax. And a lot of the folks who grew up with this stuff have given us some pretty good fantasy films, books and games. Sandbox gaming came from this.

  19. Alex

     /  March 7, 2008

    You know, I’m not sure which came first – sandbox gaming or D&D. If it remember correctly, the precursor to the original D&D was Gygax’s “Chainmail” which I thought was a tabletop game based off of sandbox/tabletop wargaming like that done at the academies and by military staff since, well, since maybe roman times. I know for sure that the Japanese were doing tabletop gaming of naval battles before the start of WWII (and during WWII) to figure out how things might go.
    So if Sandbox gaming begat D&D – I think D&D brought something different to tactical gaming. It moved the map to much more strenuous mental fields and “wargaming”, but now with rules limited only by the imagination.
    Ah…all this is a minor point. I’d have to dig deeper to figure out what exactly inspired Gary Gygax long ago to create this for us.

  20. Mike

     /  March 7, 2008

    Heh, you did notice I named myself in that coughing fit, right? I am not saying I am not a nerd, I am a huge one. But dude, killing one of the Apocalypse Demons so you can film a sandwich commerical? And actually having a character that could DO it? Above and beyond, man. I still stand in awe of that game, I have never, ever seen it topped, or even heard of anything that comes close to it, and nobody I know has ever heard of anything like it.

    Not even my “We are going to get every copper piece in this series via use of complete and total scientific sweep and clear missions” game in the Temple of Elemental Evil comes close to it, and that was an outright stroke of genius.

  21. Mike

     /  March 7, 2008

    All thanks to the man who started it all.

  22. blackpine

     /  March 9, 2008

    Rules abuse is the first step to absurdism. If the rules provide a set of a priori expectation, then exceeding those expectations becomes the source of comedy. The first time Old Man did 2000 pts of damage on a kick to balls was funny. The guy with 60+ attacks a round. The 2 billion dollar cyborg with every attachment in every book, guide, monthly issue, cross over rpg, and alternate source book. Stopping the Apocalypse just for the chance of getting interdimensional brand name recognition for a sandwich shop.

    “The Gathering of Gyros(tm).” I still chuckle. Thanks Gary.


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