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.