Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thanks Again, Gary

I began this blog on 2/29/08, just four days before Gary Gygax's passing. I feel then as I do now, that I cannot truly share my feelings in regard to Gary's impact on my life and do them justice at this blog. I need to DM, run a campaign, and let the D&D vibe go into full swing, and then observe "See, that's what Gary means to me."

I'll not blather on about why I get so damned pissed off today. I suppose it's part of getting older. As much as I am awash in D&D, I still woke up today and realized that proper pencil and paper (or tabletop, if you prefer) D&D is a fading hobby, and I am destined to be the Last Mohican; or last Do-do Bird, if you prefer.

Perhaps if the mood strikes me I can construct an updated version of one of my earlier posts which speaks to the impact of Dungeons & Dragons. Maybe that would be fitting. I just know if I tried that today I might end up spewing some vitriolic verbage best avoided.

Anyway, four days into the blog, and only my 8th post, came RIP Gary on March 4th, 2008. It was another week before I received my first comment here. This was before many of the old school blogs we all enjoy now had spread their wings, or even started. That said, I doubt too many have seen that post before, so I say it again, Rest In Peace, Gary.

I read someone earlier this morning commenting that time flies and wondering how the past year went by so quickly after Gary's death. In all other things I agree. Family, Work, Entertainment, Sports...the past year did indeed zip by. On the other hand, when I look back at D&D, and at 12 months of blogging and thinking about the hobby since Gary's passing, I feel as though it's been many years. I'm not exactly sure why this is, but it is worth noticing and appreciating. After all, I don't much like it when time flies. Anything that makes us slow down and appreciate the moment or be contemplative is worthy of notoriety, and Dungeons & Dragons certainly does for many of us Do-do Birds.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


Ben O. said...

You know, I'm not so certain that tabletop pencil-and-paper RPGs are fading. They're not even changing form that much, though with the advent of the Internet, PDFs, and social media, the potential to expand is far greater than it used to be.

The problem is, there's too much commercial marketing and not enough personal marketing. Game companies are telling folks they should play...but the players aren't. Not as often as they should.

Gamers are sociable, contrary to the stereotype. We just need to bring new people into the hobby more frequently.

Think. Do you know anyone who might be interested? Doesn't have to be someone in your or my age group. Could be a youngin', or even someone older. Artists. Writers. Someone with a competitive streak. Throw a little party and introduce the folks there to a casual game.

David Larkins said...

I've had similar attacks of ennui regarding the future of pen & paper RPGs. (The very fact there are terms to clarify whether we're talking about "face-to-face" gaming or computer gaming is, of course, telling.)

But just recently I turned two guys, both in their mid-20s, onto old school D&D. And they have a friend who's interested in joining in. I think there's an enduring appeal to real RPGs that will never be totally replaced by computer games, let alone other forms of distraction. I agree with Jeff Rients that the hobby will never again be as popular as it was in the 80s--but then, I don't think it will ever totally go away either.

In summation, your subject says it all: thanks again, Gary.

Sham aka Dave said...

Thanks Ben and David. It's good to hear others assure me that the genre might not be as ill-fated as I often envision. I totally agree with Jeff Rients' "80's fad" post from years back.

Rather than bemoan the situation, I should embrace the alternatives more. That being online chat or text gaming, live and probably the next best thing to table top. I dunno, I was there back in the late 70's and early/mid 80's. There were tons of clubs and players. There were no less than four, and sometimes six campaigns running at the same time in our old HS club. I seriously doubt you'd see that nowadays. I know my HS was not unusual for its time, either.

Still, everytime I realize that Gary is gone it reminds me that I might be part of some slowing fading hobby.

Chad Thorson said...

I don't think they're dying out either, but then again I live in the heart of RPG land! Madison, WI (it's about an hour and a half from Lake Geneva), there's always roleplaying and wargaming events going on. Although they're almost always newer games, but the spirit is still there.