Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dungeon Master Loses Hit Points

"In the Futurama episode "Anthology of Interest I," Fry asks the Professor's What If machine what would have happened if he hadn't been frozen. The machine produces a scenario that shows Fry narrowly avoiding being frozen. But because that didn't happen, and chain of events that never happened cause a rift in the time-space continuum. Fry is then abducted by the Vice Presidential Action Rangers, Al Gore, Nichelle Nichols, Stephen Hawking and Gary Gygax. They decide that to protect the universe, they must kill Fry. But when that causes another rift, they decide to freeze him after all. Fry breaks the tube before he is frozen, causing the universe to collapse in on itself. Fry's scenario ends with the group playing Dungeons and Dragons for all eternity." (

Here is Russell Fox's recollection of his adolescent Dungeons and Dragons experiences, in memory of the recent death of beloved D&D creator Gary Gygax.

In many ways, the political and ethical imagination instantiated by my participation in academic and public debate was conditioned by my experience with fantasy and science fiction comics, novels and roleplaying games. Moreover, those games were a lifeline to friendships and a social life for me. If there was a more awkward 13-15 year old on the planet besides myself, I never met them.

Gygax also, quite unintentionally, revived a somewhat dormant fantasy and science fiction craze.

Rest in peace, GG.

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