In an attempt to demonstrate my uber-geekness, I'm going to admit here that I played Dungeons and Dragons back in the day. Back way before cool MMORPG's like World of Warcraft or Everquest, or any of what we have in place right now existed. Back when if you wanted to be a dwarven thief, or a halfling monk, all you had to do is get out the three, six-sided dice and roll one up. Rather than succumbing to the rules of online role playing games that exist now, the only limitation to your character was your imagination. That and the sadism of the guy who played the dungeonmaster for your group.
That was one of my fond memories of junior high school was playing D&D with friends until the wee hours of the morning (or the next morning for that matter). Mike^3 along with various additions that came and went in our group and I were the core of the players for a couple years there. Mike Saxon, Mike Erlandson, Mike Lee and myself were regulars, along with Juan Crespo, Chris Saxon (Mike's older brother who introduced me to Jack Daniels & Mountain Dew....good times...good times), and the others who I cannot recall after 23 or so years of abusing my brain (see earlier mention of JD & MD) provide memories of arguments over elven superiority to dwarves, whether a rogue was better than a monk, and obviously other adolescent discussions as well. Who could forget Juan coming down the stairs into he basement of my house and whacking his big noggin on the beam that crossed the top of the stairs, knocking himself down and sliding the rest of the way down the stairs on his ass? After realizing that he wasn't dead, we all laughed, pointed, taunted, and made fun of the mark on his forehead that probably still exists today.
As we grew older the discussion of girls began to intervene into our inner circle and I committed the mortal sin of dating a D&D buddy's sister. Mary Saxon had caught my eye during one of our many late night sessions at the Saxon household and we began to date. I think that was pretty much the beginning of the end of my participation with the guys, as my interests had turned to something else.
Why do I mention all this? Well, E. Gary Gygax, the inventor of Dungeons and Dragons died three weeks ago. Because of the great joy that Mr. Gygax's game had instilled in me when it comes to fantasy games, I still play, although because of the lack of time, players, and general stability MMORPG's have become my outlet for this passion. World of Warcraft is my addiction and in the notes for the patch that were most recently pushed, they dedicated the patch to Mr. Gygax, noting that their love for the game and fantasy was mostly spawned by his imagination.
Godspeed Mr. Gygax, may the gods of Valhalla welcome you hours before Asmodeus knows you've passed.