TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

December 23, 2008 -

TIME is currently running a 2008 retrospective, including a section on notable passings which pays homage to a pair of influential gaming figures.

Everyone who follows gaming knows Gary Gygax, of course. Of the D&D creator, TIME writes:

A college dropout from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Gygax was one of the creators of a game that transformed popular culture... Dungeons & Dragons sold millions of copies in the 1970s and 1980s and laid the cultural groundwork for movies such as The Lord of the Rings, video games like World of Warcraft and a generation of fantasy writers and fans...

Also mentioned is Carnegie Mellon prof Randy Pausch, who founded CMU's Entertainment Technology Center and is best known for his inspirational last lecture, which was later expanded into book length. From TIME:

He could have canceled the lecture. He was, after all, dying of pancreatic cancer. Instead, Pausch, a computer-science professor at Carnegie Mellon, delivered a wise, funny talk on the great themes: Captain Kirk, football and how to live your life. Pausch also showed us how to die: calmly, gracefully and gratefully.

Posted in

Comments

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Gygax is one of the main reason why I want to be a game designer and a vg music compoer.  Randy himself was just a great men who inspired so many.

 

R.I.P to them both.

"We may be human, but we're still animals" -Steve Vai (World's greatest guitarist!)

"We may be human, but we're still animals" -Steve Vai (World's greatest guitarist!)

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

It would be great if GP/GC would start a "hall of heroes" for fallen people such as these.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

I think what is ment by the comment that D&D influenced LOTR movies, is that if it were not for D&D and its creators, The LOTR series of books might have faded just enough that Hollywood would never have considered making a movie out of them.. Gary Gygax helped bring Fantasy into the mainstream  by helping to build a driving industry that precursored the fantasy movie and videogame generes.

I think Mr.Gygax and others like him are... Heros of the Imagination..

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Gary is going to be rolling in his grave...perfect 20's

...its hard to take that offensive or not considering who it is.  Anyways...it was a sad moment in life in this house, considering everyone here has played the game.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

I don't want to knock Gygax for doing some fantastic work, but LotR grew popular in the 60s and early 70s, before D&D was created in '74.

While the two cultures are probably intermixed, I doubt the game had much (if any) influence on the movies or their following.  

He'll be missed.  It's unfortunate his creation has become such a mess, though.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

I did know Gary Gygax, though I never worked with him or for him. I met him early in my game dev career (late 70s) and appeared on the guest list with him at a game fest in southern Germany in 1999. Definitely an interesting character.

Also passing away this year were two more-or-less high profile game development figures, whom I also knew, but who did not or will not get the kind of national attention that Gary got.

Bob Bledsaw, co-founder of Judges Guild (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judges_Guild), one of the companies that helped make role-playing games a commercial success in the 1970s (and whose better known game adventures are still in print 30 years later). While Bob never worked on computer games, he nevertheless influenced a generation of later game developers.

Erick Wujcik (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erick_Wujcik), designer of the Amber diceless roleplay system (based upon the licensed work of the late author Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber novel series), and designer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles roleplay game rules. Erick later went on to have a career in computer games.

--Verbinator

--Verbinator

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

I had no idea that Erik W died...

I loved his work with Palladium games.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Wow I used to have some of those core books. Even incorporated parts into our D&D game. (Like the Wolfen empire, what a shock for the ranger who's enemy was Lycanthropes.)

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

At least Al Gore won't be telling Gary to stop rolling the dice or he's gonna take them away.

Seriously though, both of these men were good people, and its a shame to see them go.
We also lost Ronnie Drew this year.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

While I originally never knew of Gary, I do know of him now and I gotta say he left before his time, IMO. Good man.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

I rather think the Lord of the RIngs novel laid the groundwork for the movie trilogy myself...

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

I'm guessing that their arguement is that D&D was what made the movies a viable prospect. D&D becomes popular/well known -> fantasy fanbase and cultural acknowledgement of it grows -> movies can be made of the LoR trilogy that are actually well funded, directed, and widely popular.

-Gray17

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Technically, D&D was based off the LotR books. The halflings were origianlly hobbits, but there was a trademark dispute and they couldn't use the term for the game.

I am unsure of how much influence the movies gleened from the game. Most of the movies seemed to be based off the books. As for your claim that the movies success was somehow related to the popularity of the game, I don't think so. D&D does not have the popularity level high enough to account for that success. While D&D is no longer attaacked and is generally accepted, it is still a niche product.

I would attribute it more to the drought of quality fantasy entertainment. When something comes out that big, a lot of  people will see it. The fact that the movies were good helped its success.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Zach, I don't think anyone's saying that D&D was directly inspiring the LotR movies. Just that it was D&D that really brought medieval fantasy forwards in pop culture, so that the genre became popular enough that a well-funded and well-done LotR movie series was a viable option. Was D&D alone responsible for that rise in popularity? Probably not, but it was one of the earliest popular medieval fantasy games and probably provided stimulation for the genre as a whole.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Thank you Alex, you got what I was getting at.

As Alex said, I was not trying to argue in any form that D&D inspired the LotR movies. Rather I was saying that their claim that D&D laid the groundwork for the movies seems to rest on the general cultural effect it had. While it was in is a niche market compartively speaking, it did help grow/encourage the general fanbase, who in turn made their own/competing gaming systems, novels, comic books, etc; with their own fanbases and such. For example, the Dragonlance series. It also took a lot of the early criticism/mocking of people unfamilar with the fantasy genre.

So by the time 2000 rolls around, medieval fantasy works are much more mainstream than they were in the 70s. Broader popularity, and those that the fantasy genre wasn't popular with were at least aware of it's existence. D&D is partly responsible for that.

-Gray17

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Both great men we lost this year.

 

Breaks my heart to think there are people who will actually celebrate their deaths.

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

While I can see "D&D-is-the-devil" people celebrating Gygax's death, what kinda of d-wad would celebrate Randy Pausch's death?  Was there some controversy I was unaware of?

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

QFT +++

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Re: TIME Bids Fond Farewells to Gary Gygax, Randy Pausch

Oh, God. You again. *sigh*

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MaskedPixelanteI might be wrong, but aren't the console versions of Minecraft handled by a completely different studio?04/01/2015 - 11:52am
Papa MidnightMight want to keep an eye on this case. It's effects could be pretty wide reaching: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/if-you-believe-enough-can-you-invalidate-a-patent-supreme-court-to-decide/04/01/2015 - 11:52am
E. Zachary KnightMojang Support is trying to claim they have no responsibility for broken content on the PS3 version of Minecraft.04/01/2015 - 9:23am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.destructoid.com/kojima-productions-logo-removed-from-silent-hills-website-289814.phtml So... Japan doesn't usually do April Fool's, right?04/01/2015 - 7:51am
E. Zachary KnightXKCD is really fun this morning. http://xkcd.com/04/01/2015 - 7:37am
E. Zachary KnightI managed to wrangle a refund out of Sony for the broken texture pack. But for actual issues with texture packs, they referred me to Mojang. When I asked mojang about it, they referred me to Sony.04/01/2015 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenHuh?04/01/2015 - 2:42am
Matthew Wilson@AE I think the first dragon age did it the best. the person you played was treated differently based class,race, and gender. if the npc are going to act like 2015, you should just set the game in 2015 and add magic and dragons.04/01/2015 - 1:23am
E. Zachary KnightYeah, the PS3. My son paid for the Steampunk Texture Pack and it would not work at all. No matter what I did, it wouldn't allow us to save.03/31/2015 - 10:56pm
Sora-ChanConsole version?03/31/2015 - 10:40pm
E. Zachary KnightSo, Mojang has been selling a broken texture pack for Minecraft since at least Dec. 2014 and it hasn't been fixed yet.03/31/2015 - 10:30pm
Andrew EisenI think TT Games gets away with multiple LEGO games a year because they're all based on different franchises. If there were two or three LEGO Star Wars games every year, I think people would feel the same fatigue as they do with Assassin's Creed.03/31/2015 - 6:40pm
Andrew EisenIn other words, a hero is male because that's the default. A hero is female because of a gender-related reason. So, male heroes are for everyone. Female heroes are for women.03/31/2015 - 5:32pm
Andrew EisenHer point is that "When archetypal fantasy heroes in games are overwhelmingly portrayed as men, it reinforces the idea that... women should be able to empathize with male characters but that men needn’t be able to identify with women’s stories."03/31/2015 - 5:30pm
Andrew EisenDaniel - She doesn't say that in any of the TvW videos and I doubt she's said elsewhere that all games with male protagonists are male power fantasies. Anyway, you seem to be conflating two different ideas.03/31/2015 - 5:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/Yuriofwind/status/583028257890635776 Oh snap!03/31/2015 - 5:14pm
WymorenceFor me it just boils down to the fact that, even at a giant company, when a game comes out annually it just gives it a vibe of being rushed out the door. And god knows Unity sucked some major lemur with all its bugs...03/31/2015 - 4:22pm
PHX CorpI launched my spotify account today, and I kinda went a little overboard with adding music03/31/2015 - 3:59pm
Sora-ChanCon't. Games like AC are a pain to someone like me who likes to play games in order. So when a game gets too many releases too quickly, it puts me off. Only exceptions are games that have no interconnected underlying stories like the FF games.03/31/2015 - 2:53pm
Sora-ChanWikipedia has rarely let me down on matters like this. But yeah... AC needs a break.. like two.. or three... or eight years.03/31/2015 - 2:51pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician