When I was a kid my relationship with my brother was much tighter. With a 5 year difference in age there was a bit of a disparity in activities. That is just what a demidecennial age difference will do for you, but even with that age difference there were things that he and I had in common. We were both playing in the same soccer system even though we were in different age brackets. We both were involved with the Boy Scouts (my father’s one true love). We enjoyed many of the same TV shows and music. We had very similar senses of humor. Oddly enough, when he and his friends were hanging out at our house they wouldn’t mind me joining in.

It started out easy enough when they would play “war” in the woods. We all had realistic looking cap guns and would run around “shooting” each other in the woods. It started out with war in the woods because there were 3 of his friends that would hang out at the house then and they did not want un-even teams. They reluctantly agreed to have his “kid brother” join in. 2 V 2 is better fun than 1 V 2. What they did not realize is that I was a stealthy little bastard with a fairly tactical mind for a 9 year old.

After schooling the older kids a few times I was begrudgingly accepted into the group. A few years pass and the cast of characters has changed somewhat due to my brother’s new found drivable freedom and his involvement in a soccer team. By that time I was firmly ensconced into the group. One of Bro’s soccer teammates invited his group to “try out this new game he was playing.” So we all headed over to Mark’s house to play this game called Dungeons & Dragons. There was Bro, Mark, Austin, Marshall, Todd, and I all huddled around a dining room table rolling dice and laughing.

For about 2.5 years this group of six would meet every week at various houses to play D&D (excuse me) AD&D and eat pizza. It was a glorious time. I was hanging out with older kids and killing orcs, kobolds, and generally fighting the evil that abounds in the imaginary lands.

Bro graduated and his friends graduated from high school and dispersed to the various colleges and institutions that call high school grads. Austin and Marshal both got soccer scholarships to a local university. Todd went out of state to school. My brother went to the US Air Force Academy on crutches. Mark joined the USMC just in time for Desert Storm 1. I was left behind due to my age and lack of high school graduation. I tried to recreate that table top role-playing game experience with my friends, but it was never as consistent. AD&D had become somewhat passé by that time, and the game seemed to switch from Shadowrun to Call of Cthullu to some such other crap.

Anyway, the point is Gary Gygax one of the creators of the original Dungeons & Dragons passed away yesterday. Gygax was considered the father of RPG’s and most of the massive computer games that are in the news owe their existence to his vision. Everquest, World of Warcraft, and even to some extent the Sims are almost direct offshoots of the table top role-playing game. Since I have become more and more involved with production of the role-playing game The Fellowship of the White Star as a content artist and as a play tester, Gygax’s passing means a bit more. You see his fingerprints throughout all of gaming. He was approachable (even though he went looney for a bit) and his genre will last for a very long time. In essence, he will be missed.

To recap:
Wifey is going to the Ani DiFranco concert tonight
Excuse me, Ani Fucking DiFranco
I am going to balance the checkbook
We lead disturbingly dissimilar lives
I hope to have something fun for Digital Thursday
I always hope to have something fun for Digital Thursday
I don’t always have something fun for Digital Thursday
Not sure what is going on for dinner tonight