Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Geek Holiday July 27th Gary Gygax Day

hawaiian shirt

Rocking the Hawaiian shirt.


Today is Gary Gygax day. What is that? You ask. I wittily reply “Apparently you failed your knowledge check.” Then you turn your back on me and as you wander off mumble “nerd.”   Earnest G “Gary”  Gygax is the co-creator of the table top game Dungeons and Dragons. He was born today July 27th back in 1938. He passed away in 2008, but he left behind a bag of holding of gamming experiences and history. Before  RPG’s he was into war games in a big way. How big away. He spent so much time that his wife thought he was having affair. Secretly she followed him to his basement rendezvous and found him not in the arms of a lover, but huddle or a map rolling dice with other nerds.


Gygax’s impact on the table top RPG (And by trickledown theory video game RPGs) cannot be denied. One urban legend was that he invented non-six sided dice, this is not true, he found them in a gamming catalog and decided to sue them. What he did do is raise them from rare novelty item to must have game inventory. In fact the D20 for gaming purposes dates back to the Egyptians.


Tutankhamen stop playing Babylonians and  Sphinxs and do your home work.

During his lifetime Gygax was a polarizing figure. There were disputes over who really invented D&D, he used his daughter in sexy ads, and once he was a dominating force, some say overbearing force in gaming, and the publisher of D&D TSR. After his death however, the controversies have pretty much been laid to rest and he is remembered for being the father of all nerd pastimes.


The hard part for me to believe is that you could get a hard back gaming core book for $9.95

Questions about D&D parentage may never be completely resolved but it does have Gygax’s DNA all over it. Gary loved pulps especially the writing of Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  More than one person has mentioned how the mind flayer looks a lot like the great and dreadful Cuthlhu. He dropped out of high school, but at his wife’s insistence went back to night school, and took some college classes, though a fair student at best, he had a love of history and Knight Templars could be seen as inspiration of the original cleric. Gygax’s love of military wargames and RPG battles may have come from a short lived stint as a marine. He was also an insurance under writer, which may be the reason that D&D has so many charts and diagrams.

keep on hte borderland

An oldie but goodie

A few trivia facts about GG. He was raised most his life a Jehovah’s Witness, and was once a Pioneer (Jehovah’s Witness missionary) he even once wrote an essay in a gamming magazine he didn’t celebrate Christmas because it is non-Biblical. Though he did participate in very un-Jehovah’s Witness activity such as smoking and military service.  Towards the end of his life he wrote that he had finialy been reunited with Jesus.  He also never owned a driver license, and collected guns.


He also pretty much invented the modern gamming convention. Creating Gen-Con (short for Lake Geneva Con [The city it was first held {I always wanted to make write brackets in side of brackets, inside of brackets}]) Gen-Con is now the largest RPG experience in the world.

gen con

So many nerds.

As if inventing role playing games, Gygax received unlimited nerd cred when he appeared as himself in an episode of Futurama, he was part of Al “I am a 20th level vice-president”  Gore’s elite team of nerd commandos, The Vice-Presidential Freedom rangers, the team also included, Stephen Hawkins, Nicole Nicholas and IBM computer Big Blue.


The dice say ..”I am happy to meet you.”

Gary Gygax day was invented in 2012, after a pub crawl, and has been going strong ever since.


So now you know the story of GG  the OG (Original gamer) day, raise you D20’s and 1 inch hex map and role one for Gary.


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This entry was posted on July 27, 2017 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .
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