Sometimes you get an idea for one blog, then something comes along and says “Nope, you’ll be writing about this instead.” Case in point.
My original plan was to talk about my rather atypical RPG gaming group (consisting of, at maximum capacity, five members of the armed forces and a former bouncer), and chat a little about Glenshire Abbey. During my search a picture that I could use for your ‘typical’ gaming group, I came across this doozy of an article.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the name, Gary Gygax is one of the co-creators of Dungeons and Dragons, and is considered to be the father of entire role playing genre. The article goes so far as to thank God for his death, due to his role in creating, apparently, the most evil thing ever.
Wow. I didn’t realize that this was still a thing.
I could see something like this being written back in the early 80’s during the whole Dungeons-and-Dragons-is-Evil! craze, but this was posted fairly recently, back in 2008. I was a little shocked that this sort of perception of role playing games was still around; we live in a day and age where information is readily available on any subject you can think of, and I would have thought that a little more research would have gone into this. If you’re not a fan, that’s fine, I understand. But to celebrate the death of Gary Gygax as a victory for Jesus? Wow.
Now, let me get something out of the way here. This isn’t going to be a rant on Christianity. I myself am Christian, and have no problem telling people that. I understand the views in the article are a little off the beaten path, so we’ll be talking about that mindset, rather than putting an entire religion on trial because of an article that I took issue with.
Now, I believe that it is painfully obvious that this guy has never actually participated in an RPG of any sort, and it feels like all of his information on the subject came from Mazes and Monsters. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are some people out there in the world that have issues separating fantasy from reality. But never in my life have I ever come across anyone that was driven insane by the “satanism-and-suicide how-to manual” that is D&D, or any role playing game for that matter. Gamers are not loners existing on the edge of society- games are a social experience, an exercise of the imagination, and really just a way for few friends to sit around and spend some time together. I know the perception is that it’s a bunch of socially-inept fringers sitting around a table dressed in funny clothes taking things far too seriously, and as a gamer, I’ll be the first to admit that there are some gamers out there that fit that mold.
But guess what? That’s not the majority. As with anything in life, there is always someone that takes things too far. That guy that gets into a fight at a football game because someone said something about his team. The guy that builds a bunker because he doesn’t like the direction the government is going. And yes, the guy with the social skills of a yak living in his mom’s basement with every D&D supplement ever written. But why should we let the outliers dictate the perception of the whole?
So, you feel that God killed Gary Gygax for helping pioneer a social experience that not only fosters creativity, but has brought an untold number of people all over the world together? Sorry, I have to disagree. I’d like to think that God is better than that.