The Nerdosphere has had a few days now to let the impact of Gary Gygax’s death sink in, and there’s a growing realization that not only has the current flourishing culture of geek has grown out of that curious game, but that a generation of us owe our friendships, work, and passions to a fantasy simulation.
It’s also almost shocking just how far and wide it has spread; Far enough that the New York Times has just published an article about it.
We live in Gary Gygax’s world. The most popular books on earth are fantasy novels about wizards and magic swords. The most popular movies are about characters from superhero comic books. The most popular TV shows look like elaborate role-playing games: intricate, hidden-clue-laden science fiction stories connected to impossibly mathematical games that live both online and in the real world. And you, the viewer, can play only if you’ve sufficiently mastered your home-entertainment command center so that it can download a snippet of audio to your iPhone, process it backward with beluga whale harmonic sequences and then podcast the results to the members of your Yahoo group.
There’s also a nifty chart that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the way D&D changed everything.