Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Role Playing (Games) Games

Building a Gary Gygax Memorial 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the die-20-in-the-sky dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like approval to build a memorial to E. Gary Gygax has been granted in Lake Geneva City, Wisconsin. The Gygax Memorial Fund is still taking donations for the memorial that may begin construction as early as later this year. I (like many on Slashdot) spent many years of my youth using Gygax inspired creations as an excuse to socialize, roll dice, and eat chips at impromptu gatherings before computers intruded on the RPG realms."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Building a Gary Gygax Memorial

Comments Filter:
  • by charlieo88 (658362) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @09:21PM (#36494804)
    Will the map be on plain square graph paper or since it's outdoors, will it be on hexagonal graph paper?
  • by cthellis (733202) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @09:25PM (#36494824)
    ...be underground.
    ...have traps leading up to it.
    ...have someone narrating your way.
    ...involve a strength check to open the door.
    ...force you to roll dice constantly.
    • Or will it be a massive bronze sofa with some fat dude sitting on it sucking on a Mountain Dew? Legendary [youtube.com]
    • Actually it'd be cool if you could level up and when you came back each time, you could learn more information about Dungeons and Dragons. Afterall if someone tries to teach you all about D&D at once, you get overwhelmed. So it'd be a natural tutoring device. Finally if you beat the final boss: Gygax as a Lich, you get to unlock a door which leads into several chambers where you can play actual D&D with some people there. Hey its hard to find a game of PNP D&D nowadays, how cool if people ju
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Well, at least I'm not designing it. There'd be at least one grue involved.

      • Well, at least I'm not designing it. There'd be at least one grue involved.

        Though it definitely paved the way for PC role playing games, Zork has F-All to do with Dungeons & Dragons.

        There are probably Priests and a myriad other religious leaders around at the time that would lump any RPG in as tools of the devil, but they were wrong about it all. I'm surprised they are rallying against this proposed monument to Gygax.

    • I think it'll just be a giant pile of books. Like every other nerd's personal memorial to him.

      • by sorak (246725)

        I think it'll just be a giant pile of books. Like every other nerd's personal memorial to him.

        I know you're joking, but that's not a bad idea. The ultimate memorial for someone known for producing books is a library.

        • by paganizer (566360)

          Excellent idea. It really should have a dungeon, but I would settle for a library with a big section on games theory.

    • Not to worry. Maynard, a level 8 thief, will solve the budgeting problems, and quietly disappear.

    • It damn well better be the Tomb of Horrors [wikipedia.org].
    • by kenh (9056)

      ...recreate your parent's basement

      ...depict several kids sitting at card tables, with snack food wrapers and soda cans strewn about

      ...not include any women

      ...not depict anyone with any actual muscle tone

      ...include at least one character "hiding" behind a folder

      ...depict the majority of players wearing glasses

    • Nah, the strength checks and eternal dice-rolling came later, with WoTC. Gygax era D&D was less intuitive in some ways, but had cleaner gameplay IMHO.
  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @09:26PM (#36494830) Homepage

    If the memorial isn't a 10-foot, bronze D20, I'm going to be very upset.

  • That it is

    a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

    • by dwye (1127395)

      That is Adventure (aka Colossal Cave), not D&D, AD&D, etc.

      It should be a randomly generated maze with ridiculously fatal traps every so often. Alas, we cannot have wandering monsters (presumably surviving by eating unsuccessful visitors) in the real world.

      • by ghmh (73679)
        Don't worry - Notch is still working on minecraft. He'll get there eventually.
  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @09:44PM (#36494932)

    Put a sphere of annihilation in the statue's mouth.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why do you think they built CERN? What is a better stand in for a sphere of annihilation than a miniature black hole? So far it hasn't quite worked, but they have some time before this is completed.

  • I may be splitting linguistic hairs here, but for my money full-fledged memorials are reserved for humanitarians or political, scientific, and military heroes. Gary Gygax may have done a lot to legitimize and expand the role-playing hobby and even the fantasy genre at large, but ultimately his work was in entertainment, albeit entertainment with legitimate and interesting anthropological/historical roots.

    Maybe I have to turn in my nerd card now, but I'm no more comfortable with memorializing Gary Gygax tha
    • I'd endorse and support memorials for all 3.

      Gary Gygax: For giving geeks and nerds something to do while all the popular kids were out drinking and having sex.

      John Wayne: For not taking shit from anybody (his bronze statue needs to be electrified so he doesn't even take crap from pigeons).
      You know, forget the memorial.... We just need to clone the Duke.

      Madonna: For the "Like a Virgin" years....when she was still hot....I want to remember the hot Madonna.

      • We just need to clone the Duke.

        It would take forever to make, and it would not be as cool as the original anyway.

      • by EdIII (1114411) on Monday June 20, 2011 @01:47AM (#36496810)

        John Fucking Wayne. Our family would build our own memorial to that man.

        Every family reunion for as long as I can remember... there would be a fight over John Wayne. The rest of us had bettintg pools over him.

        One relative was a real Macho tough SOB. The Duke? You don't insult the Duke and walk away.. you crawl away.

        One relative was a flaming gay man. With conspiracy theories.

        I won the pot one year by guessing how many glasses of wine and at what time the Duke would be accused of being gay and part of the grand homosexual conspiracy in Hollywood and how many minutes it would take for us to have to hold the first relative back from killing the latter relative.

        We had first aid kits handy :)

        Ahhh.... the memories. Thank you Duke.

    • by abigor (540274)

      People can build memorials to whomever they want. Towns can choose to commemorate notable citizens in whatever way they see fit. No offense, but honestly who cares what you feel "comfortable" with?

      • They have to care what I'm comfortable with if they want my support in building memorials, or if they want me to care about the memorial once it's completed.

        Other than that I'm not demanding that anyone care, except that every person has some level of influence over what is acceptable and I'm putting in my small opinion. Not to mention that contrary opinions are usually quite valuable in avoiding serious missteps, even if all they do is help the majority refine their preexisting opinion.

        As for why
        • Alright, that's it.

          There is no excuse whatsoever for modding my last comment a troll. It was patient, clear, and civil to a fault, other than pointing out as an aside the passive-aggressiveness and general pointlessness of the phrase "no offense".

          Just because I disagree with you does not mean that everything I say is a deliberate attempt to piss you off.

          As for the first one being modded flamebait, please recall that there is no "-1, I disagree with the poster" moderation option.

          Get a fucking life
    • by mooingyak (720677)

      Maybe I have to turn in my nerd card now, but I'm no more comfortable with memorializing Gary Gygax than I am with a marble statue of John Wayne or Madonna.

      Thinking that Gygax doesn't deserve a memorial doesn't disqualify you from geekhood any more than hating BSG and Babylon 5 would, or thinking that VB is the ultimate programming language would. Not knowing who he is (or any of the other things I mentioned) on the other hand, barring relative youth, definitely would disqualify you.

      • by sorak (246725)

        Maybe I have to turn in my nerd card now, but I'm no more comfortable with memorializing Gary Gygax than I am with a marble statue of John Wayne or Madonna.

        Thinking that Gygax doesn't deserve a memorial doesn't disqualify you from geekhood any more than hating BSG and Babylon 5 would, or thinking that VB is the ultimate programming language would. Not knowing who he is (or any of the other things I mentioned) on the other hand, barring relative youth, definitely would disqualify you.

        Of course. No one ever lost a geek card for being argumentative.

    • Maybe I have to turn in my nerd card now, but I'm no more comfortable with memorializing Gary Gygax than I am with a marble statue of John Wayne or Madonna. Prima facie, I don't see this as anything but another example of going too far in deifying celebrities and glorifying entertainment at the expense of more important things.

      You're probably also against the Robocop statue in Detroit, aren't you? Philistine.

    • statue of John Wayne

      You mean that famous one at the John Wayne Airport in California? Or the one of him on horseback on Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills? Or the one in the Cowboy Musuem? Or the one at the future $5.5m John Wayne Birthplace Museum And Learning Centre?

      [statue of] Madonna.

      Then never visit a catholic country.

      and glorifying entertainment at the expense of more important things.

      Dude, they're taking public donations. It's not like they're somehow taking statues out of the mouths of starving children in Africa. I promise you people piss their money away on stupider things than a bunch of geeks memorialising s

    • I would have preferred a 21 Arquebus salute but my GM won't allow it.
    • by sorak (246725)

      I may be splitting linguistic hairs here, but for my money full-fledged memorials are reserved for humanitarians or political, scientific, and military heroes.

      You mean like Robocop? [msn.com]

  • Gary, Your turn is over. Nuf Said. Get over it, or go buy a slurpie or something.
  • No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gmhowell (26755)

    No. Let Hasbro build a frickin' monument. I 'paid' for it over the years by buying D&D and AD&D stuff. He was a businessman. Now that he is dead, our business is concluded.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      Let's not forget that Gen Con, the only real draw to the area for geeks for many years, moved out of state back in 2002. It's not like the site is going to be a draw for people to come to the city, or that he's had any economic or social impact on it in decades.

      I have to admit though, if I were passing through I would totally visit the memorial and scream 'Black Leaf is dead! Get out of here, you don't exist any more!'

    • Eh its public donations, not forced taxes paying for this.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not "Lake Geneva City"

  • by Krishnoid (984597) * on Sunday June 19, 2011 @10:15PM (#36495194) Journal
    Reminds me of this old post [slashdot.org] and my small contribution [slashdot.org] to it. I had to rewind quite a bit to recognize how fundamentally D&D shaped my model of reality. It allowed kids to test the waters of having an adult level of power, responsibility, and open-ended freedom of action in what was effectively a hostile wilderness; a world with rules but where the rule of laws of nature, God, magic, and morality were called out explicitly and which overrode the rule of the law of man, in contrast to how those laws subtly-to-overtly shape the law of man in the modern world. And all in the days before computer simulations of the same.

    Incidentally, it's a 503(c) organization [gygaxmemorialfund.com] -- tax-deductible in the US.

    • I'm not sure why people mention that something is tax deductible. If it's worthwhile, that should be obvious regardless of it's tax status. As for the financial aspect, a deduction isn't a serious cash value unless you're quite rich; as I understand deductions they only reduce the amount on which you owe tax, and thus return to most people not even 30% of the cash outlay on the original, deductible expense (depending on the tax brackets through which you move as you calculate your deductions). I suppose you
    • Heh damnit sir, you made me forego my Powers of Moderation to apply.

      What Gary Gygax showed was the Monty Haul effect, spelling variances intended. That terms mean that once you reach the sane limits of stimulation, you have nowhere to go but "boring".

      Deadly lesson, worth its weight if you can really get it.

      • How so, monty haul is only one sort of gaming, usually the result of a bad GM. Hardly stimulation.

        • Hmm, maybe I scrambled my words a little.

          I meant that it was RPG's that introduced me to the problem of what happens when the GM *is* unskilled, as in a classic pitfall to be avoided each and every campaign.

          Then later, musing on it, I saw some IRL connections at the symbolic level. Monty Haul caught up with the car companies in the form of the SUV craze. SUV's are "leveled up cars". Why own some stinkin' compact when you can have your own civillian tank? Except ... other factors sent gas to $4 a gallon, and

          • by kenh (9056)

            SUVs were a logical reaction to increasing CAFE standards that didn't include small trucks. They allowed car companies to offer full-size vehicles without having to invest in increasing the milage of their vehicles.

            Range Rovers actually were heavy enough to qualify for tax credits as a "work truck" because of their weight, making them very affordable for anyone that was able to claim the car as a business expense...

  • Should it be a dragon in a dungeon?
  • Dave Arneson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kingmundi (54911) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @10:28PM (#36495276)

    I hope the memorial succeeds. I believe Gary Gygas deserves one. I also believe Dave Arneson should get one. It is often glossed over that Dave Arneson was the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons. I have read different postings concerning the origins of Dungeons & Dragons, and many of them point to the main idea of it was created by Dave Arneson, and Gary came along and said that it could be made into a product. Then Garry spent a long time categorizing the rules and expanding them. What a great game it was!

    • by paganizer (566360)

      Not quite right.
      Dave came up with the fantasy aspect, some of the basics of the magic system, and about half the overall idea; Gary came up with the combat, concept of mapping, and about 40% of the original idea. after the pamphlets, he just wasn't involved that much. Gary never denied he came up with half of the original idea. He did get a little disgruntled when people discounted the fact that he took it from a garage business to a multimillion dollar empire essentially by himself.

      But AD&D and everyth

  • Hall of Fame (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @11:09PM (#36495560)

    When I was in junior high I went to a gaming convention where I played D&D with Gary Gygax, Tracy Hickman (author of the Dragonlance series), and Larry Niven. It was the Ravenloft module that Tracy had written, so naturally he was the DM. Watching those guys spin the fable was an amazing experience I've never forgotten, and it set a bar for fantasy gaming that no computer game has ever come close to surpassing. Maybe it's because in a computer game no one ever gets into character and brings pathos to the role. Sure, the mechanics and special effects of computers are great, but nobody really gets emotionally attached to their character (beyond how much time they spend levelling up) and...the storytelling just isn't there.

    All these years later I realize that that evening with Gary, Larry, and Tracy and the other players was like our generation's equivalent of hanging out with Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg at the height of the Beat era.

    I hope they build Gary a monument that pays proper homage all the young imaginations he fired and lives he influenced. RIP, Gary.

    • Bingo, nail on the head. TTRPGS and computer games are a completely different experience.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Screw those assholes! Playing with those guys must have been awesome, I would treasure such a night as you obviously do. wow

    • Maybe it's because in a computer game no one ever gets into character and brings pathos to the role. Sure, the mechanics and special effects of computers are great, but nobody really gets emotionally attached to their character (beyond how much time they spend levelling up) and...the storytelling just isn't there.

      Roleplay-enforced MUDs might be right up your alley.

  • by Rocky (56404) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @11:18PM (#36495622)

    ...exhume his skull, embed gems into it, and put it on a table. That would really screw with those in the know.

    /yes I know the Tomb of Horrors jokes are getting old.

  • I wrote about the Gygax Memorial effort last year in the online gaming magazine The Escapist, Issue 251 (April 27, 2010): "The Tower of Gygax : Honoring the man who started everything [escapistmagazine.com]."
  • by devphaeton (695736) on Monday June 20, 2011 @01:35AM (#36496732)

    I grew up playing plenty of DnD in the 1980s.

    One of the neatest things in my lifetime was when I got my first "computer-related" job in a small industrial park a few doors down from the old TSR Hobbies. They still had a sign out on the end of the road.

    I don't expect anyone to be impressed by that, but I sure found it to be cool.

  • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Monday June 20, 2011 @01:44AM (#36496796)

    ...Gary is to be reanimated into a 12 foot tall iron statue with a poisonous breath attack.

    He died as he lived - immune to most magical attacks (except lightning, which acts as a Slow) and to weapons less than +3.

  • Please put his statue on a giant dodecahedral plinth
  • I hope it has a water feature with a reasonable chance to turn a sword into excalibur upon dipping.
  • The memorial needs at least 10 folding card tables and a refrigerator of Mountain Dew.

    "I wanna cast Magic Missile!!!"

  • You know it should =)

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

Working...