Whether or not you are a gamer, there’s no question that the game Dungeons & Dragons has affected all manner of geekery. D&D pioneered the role-playing genre, the idea of “leveling up,” and helped legitimize fantasy and science fiction not only as books to read, but worlds to inhabit. Fandom is forever grateful to D&D’s co-creators, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Or it should be.
July 27th would have been Gygax’s 73rd birthday. Folks have been working to immortalize his legacy and the impact of D&D by building a memorial statue in Gygax’s hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The next step is to raise money. This coming week at Gen Con in Indianapolis (the now massive gaming convention that Gygax founded), using the birthday as the impetus, the Gygax Memorial Fund will be at booth #1541 (the Old School Renaissance Group) to accept donations to get this statue built.
Come by and give it up for Gary!
Donor rewards include T-shirts with the Gygax Memorial logo; a book called Cheers, Gary which selects the best of Gygax’s correspondence with fans; and signed copies of my own Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms, a travel memoir investigation into fantasy and gaming subcultures. The authors will be in attendance at Gen Con to sign copies.
Gary’s widow, Gail Gygax, will also be on hand, sharing stories about Gygax and how he wanted to be remembered.
Even if you can’t make it to Gen Con, please pay tribute to Gary’s birthday and the role D&D played in your life by posting news to your blogs, social networks, and communities. The Gygax Memorial Fund will be at Gen Con booth number #1541, and that folks can donate in memory of Gary at Gen Con, or directly on the Gygax Memorial Fund website. Thanks for your support.
Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of the award-winning book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms, his travel memoir investigation into fantasy and gaming subcultures the Huffington Post called “part personal odyssey, part medieval mid-life crisis, and part wide-ranging survey of all things freaky and geeky,” National Public Radio described as “Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac’s On the Road” and Wired.com proclaimed, “For anyone who has ever spent time within imaginary realms, the book will speak volumes.” Follow Ethan’s adventures at http://www.fantasyfreaksbook.com.