Memento homo, quod cinis es, et in cinerem reverteris.
Gary Gygax, co-creator of D&D, died today. Appropriately, his death was announced first to the world in a post on a rinky-dink Internet forum for Troll Lord Games. Those in mourning should probably visit the Slashdot post where fellow grieving geeks are congregating to leave their regards.
Just a couple of days ago, I copped to D&D’s importance to my formative years, and I often wonder what percentage of working medievalists aged 25-45 cut their teeth on D&D’s polyhedral dice. I suspect it’s rather substantial.
In memoriam, here’s a clip from YouTube that medievalists might enjoy. It’s from a D&D documentary, and in it, Mr. Gygax explains the etymology of his name. It’s Swedish, he says, for giant, and his family lore holds that he is descended from Goliath. Truly, he looms like a giant over my teenage years.
If the news has left you in need of cheering up, visit this article detailing some of the more bizarre creatures that Gygax’s D&D inspired.
[UPDATE] Penny Arcade’s tribute deserves a link.