For many people, today is just a day. It is merely a single day out of their week, one they undoubtedly call Wednesday. But for me, it is a day of memory, a day to celebrate the life and legacy of a single figure who has touched my life, and many others. Ernest Gary Gygax. The name may not mean much to you, you may only recognize it in passing as "that guy who created D&D." But for me, Gary Gygax was more than just 'some guy', to me he also became an idea.
Sadly, I have never met Mr. Gygax, I cannot even claim to have passed by him at some convention or really known him personally. And yet, I must admit he has had a profound influence on my life. Or rather he and the legacy he created. There was some element as a child about his game system that grabbed a hold of my young brain and honestly has never let go of it.
Instantly I was fascinated and over the years have even been inspired to try my own hand at game design, as well as storytelling. You could almost say I have developed a life-long love of telling stories because of it. Over time, I have come to understand and grow as a person in ways that I never would have, much less opened up, without such an outlet. Through such a simple thing as Gary Gygax's idea that blossomed into what D&D(etc.) is now, my life, and myself have been shaped and influenced in ways I can see, and some I may never actually be aware of.
I may not be able to be as eloquent as my dear friend, but I owe Gary Gygax a world of thanks. We're all shaped in many ways. I can honestly say, I've never seen any influence from Gary Gygax that was anything less than positive. God Bless you Gary, wherever you are.