Memory of Gary Gygax
Gary Gygax died Tuesday.
at a recent Gen-Con...
someone who I always wanted to meet and thank for creating
the one thing that had more influence on me than most of
my school teachers and the Bible combined, and that was
"Dungeons and Dragons."
to a Catholic grade school and it was there I got hooked
during recess. Wizards, Clerics and Thieves -- oh my god,
how cool was that when you're eight and it's before video
games took over the youth and even before VHS even!
The creativity and joy this brought to me as a kid and as
a young adult, man, I found myself wanting to write stories
after creating dungeons for the game. Seriously, we grew
up in El Monte, CA and we had no money, so this was "the
entertainment" we had and it was all we needed. And
we dreamed of going to Lake Geneva and playing D&D with
Gary Gygax; hell, he was the "Man" and his dungeons
the age of eight to the age of thirty, "Dungeons and
Dragons" was a huge part of my life and when it was
time to make my first movie, I wrote about what I knew.
my life story up there in Gamers. I'm not "...a
f***ing jock with a trust fund" making fun of gamers;
that's pretty much a huge part of my life from my childhood.
Each of those characters I can relate to, too, very well
in fact! A scene in which the character Reese scene calls
about his character dying, that's not writing folks, that's
living what you write!
we went ahead and started the ball on making Gamers,
we contacted Wizards of the Coast and I swear to god they
were no help; at one point the main guy even said "You
know there's already a movie being made just like this?"
him "Bull***t. If there is, then we will go to court,
because this is based on my life story."
contacted Gary's guys and we were so close to getting his
approval; however, Gary's guys were concern the movie made
fun of "Gamers" and that the script had a lot
of scenes which didn't put them in a positive light.
guys were cool, and it just didn't work out. We didn't want
to take anything out of the movie, even if it meant we couldn't
get Gary's blessing.
end we had to do what we felt right and Gary had a reputation
and an amazing body of work he needed to protect. And who
can blame him? We were just a bunch of idiots with a bank
loan, credit cards and a dream.
look at Gary's influence on video games. RPG games owe a
lot to the man. And I will always be thankful for his amazing
creation. Without it, I would have had a much different
life and I was such a bad speller and people gave me s***
for it, that I don't think I would have done creative writing
if it wasn't for D&D. Because
nobody gave a s*** if the DM could spell. It was all about
the dungeon and creating hours of non-stop fun and action.
than Springsteen, I can't think of another person who influenced
me as much that wasn't related or a friend.
Gygax, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your
imagination. Without it there would be no Gamers
and I can't even imagine my life without "Dungeons
and Dragons." It was so influential and so worth every
hour dreaming up stories.
La Gary Gygax! We will find a way to properly honor him.
Folino is a writer/director living in greater Los Angeles.
His first film, Gamers, will be released on home video through
Monterey Media on May 6, 2008. He is also the writer on
the upcoming Catastrophic Comics' titles Sparks and Mythology
Wars. This article appeared in a slightly different form
on his MySpace blog.