Long live role-playing games

I remember Roger Zelazny’s death poignantly because I always wanted the chance to tell him “thanks,” but never got the chance. So I am truly happy that I got the chance to interview Gary Gygax before his passing, as a way to highlight his influence and his contribution. I made it a point to seek out Michael Moorcock a few years ago to have lunch with him for the same purpose.

Gygax (and Arneson and many others) had such a huge effect on me as a gamer and as a person. It’s hard to execute great (or even good) video games. As someone who loves games and wants to see our medium spread to every person on the planet, I see this death as a significant event simply because it marks the end of a life that was full of significant influence over games (of many flavor), storytelling, film, books and even the way people socialize.

Gygax is gone. (As my friend Steve Powers lovingly put it: “Gygax is at -10 hit points.”) His influence, of course, is not gone. Same with Zelazny, the voice of my youth. Odd timing, but now my friend (and influential game designer) Erick Wujcik is sick.

All this makes me sad, but it also reminds me to tell people every chance I get when they’ve impacted my life in a positive way.


4 thoughts on “Long live role-playing games

  1. I remember reading all them books too… fantastic! I even work with Arneson… bought all of Gygax’s books too.

    About Zelazny: You know why I remember his dying… cause it was as stupid as Jim Henson’s! Pneumonia! I mean, great people like them should take better care of themselves, right? Asimov died of AIDS… they all die, it’s just that these people mark a date when they do. just like relatives that tell you some saying you never forget.

    They say friends are the family you chose. so what are these people… they’re not friends… they’re not family… the sortof work like the holy ghost through your journey. Sad to know they wont contribute more into it, unless you skipped over a couple of chapters here and there.

  2. Hi Harvey, I just found your site and was curious if there was a way to talk to you about your Gary Gygax interview? I’m sure you’re crazy busy, but I had a quick question if it was recorded and if it still exists. Thanks!

  3. OK, bummer. Yes, the Gamasutra link is how I found out about you conducting the interview. We are on the lookout for anything with him speaking for obvious reasons in include in the documentary.
    Congrats on Dishonored and hopefully we will get to meet at some point. We love what Bethesda is doing and want to explore modern games in the doc.

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