Column for Friday, 4/6 - Cindy

Gary Gygax, RIP.

The sad fact is that all of us will someday die.

And really, no matter what our accomplishments, very few of us will die in a manner particularly befitting our life. Unless your life path is already rife with danger, like a criminal shot in a bank holdup or a fireman trapped under a burning pillar while saving a family of four -- chances are you'll live your life one way and die by whatever form of disease or degeneration strikes you when you're too old to have much say in the matter.

This seems fundamentally wrong, and in certain cases, especially so. Which is why I'd like to propose a project.

Now, there's a certain special person out there, who meant a lot to me growing up. And if plain old Vanilla Fate is allowed to take its course, his obituary will read as follows:

E. Gary Gygax, game designer.
Gary Gygax, co-creator of the once-popular role playing game "Dungeons and Dragons" and former president of TSR, Inc., died Thursday of a lung infection following a minor surgery. Gary's other contributions to his profession included the game "Gamma World" and a shared producer credit on a children's cartoon in 1983. He was sixty-eight. He is survived by his ex-wife and two adult children.

This will run on the usual obituary page, in Gary's home town and in the town where he died, and might just get cut and pasted to a half dozen web pages alongside links to strategy tips for Diablo IV. Five of the six remaining contributors to will write half a page each on what Gary Gygax meant to them, and this sixth will use the opportunity for yet another ten page rant on why Paladins' "Detect Evil" ability totally disrupts game balance.

I, however, envision a more enticing legacy, which should justifiably make front pages on a slow news day. It should require just a bit of ingenuity, a few illegal but easily obtainable consumer goods, and an obscenely wealthy benefactor, preferably with connections to organized crime.


It was a scene out of a nightmare for hotel housekeeper Miranda Guitterez, as her usual morning routine brought her face to face with the bloody remnants of a possible ritual sacrifice. The victim, E. Gary Gygax, best known as the inventor of the game Dungeons and Dragons, was found dead this morning in the presidential suite of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Ruled a homicide by the LVPD, Gygax was stabbed literally hundreds of times by what appears to have been multiple assailants. Police investigators apparently have in their possession a videotape of the crime, but are not releasing it to the press at this time.

The police have confirmed only that there were "at least fifteen" participants in the alleged attack, that they were all young, female, and were all wearing "strange masks with pointed ears."

"We cannot make all the information public at this stage of the investigation," said Las Vegas chief investigator Bill Higgins. "But the incident appears to have included elements of a sexual nature, although it is unclear whether that aspect of the affair was entirely non-consensual."

There is some question from the Medical Examiner's office as to whether the wounds occurred post-mortem, as there is evidence that Gygax died from heart failure during the course of the alleged ritual.

When asked about rumors of Gygax's long-alleged associations with the occult, Detective Higgins admitted a possible connection between the victim's creative works and his murder, but felt that any further statement on the matter would be premature.

Moral Majority spokesperson Ed Thomas was quoted as saying "See? We told you this was going to happen all along. But did any of you listen? Noooo..."

Here's what we'll need:

After the initial public shock, we'll release the video over the Internet, and Gary will be a LEGEND.

If anyone deserves to shuffle off this mortal coil in such a fashion, it's Gary.

I really mean it.

If it weren't for him, I might have gotten laid in high school.