As some of you may have heard, Gary Gygax, the cocreator of the immensely popular game, Dungeons and Dragons, died yesterday at the age of 69. I played my share of D&D as a kid, forging many adolescent friendships over those campaigns. The game has been responsible for reinforcing (and in some cases, helping to actively define) the fantasy genre for more than thirty years now. It was even featured in the film, E.T., at the height of its popularity. (And don’t get me started on Mazes and Monsters, first a novel and then a dreadful film, released the same year as E.T., and starring a young Tom Hanks.) D&D was also the forefather of new games like the customizable card game, Magic: The Gathering, as well as online games like Everquest and World of Warcraft — though the text-based MUD culture was an intermediary facilitator in their development.
So what’s the tackiest headline you can imagine for announcing his death? How about this one — “D&D cocreator Gary Gygax now beyond scope of healing spells.” And yes, this is a real headline. Here’s the source. For their sake, I hope they roll a 20 on their “save vs. hatemail” throw. Heh.