Gary Gygax, the father of table-top role playing games died yesterday at his home in Lake Geneva. Aged 69, his health had been ailing recently following an abdominal aneurysm. His death was confirmed by his wife Gail.
As co-creator of the fantasy RPG Dungeons & Dragons, introduced in 1974, he had a profound influence over table top board gaming, which has in turn made a deep impact on modern video games. Famous series such as Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights have used rules derived directly from versions of the Dungeons and Dragons rule set. More recently, the system has been incorporated into a full blown MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach.
However, it is impossible to measure just how much the D&D phenomena has influenced the wider aspects of modern video games. Certainly many of those that don’t use a direct derivative of the rule set may well have drawn influence from the fantasy worlds Gygax helped create. Ironically though, Gygax himself never really approved of the shift from the table top to the computer screen, claiming it lacked the intimacy and imagination achieved through actually getting a group of people together.
Despite health concerns, he remained an active member of the gaming community and was involved in forum Q&A sessions up until his final days.
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