Tag Archives: Dungeons and Dragons

Therefore I Geek Podcast Episode 23, Mikey Mason Live at Marscon

mikey_mason_promoUpon the 17th day of January in the Year of Our Lord 2015, Andrew availed himself of his gallant, mechanical steed of Japanese engineering and hied him to Marscon of legend.  Quoth he, “I shall take upon myself to speak to comedy rock star Mikey Mason.”  Tracy was sick.

In this podcast episode, Mikey reveals his RPG player voice, takes on the persona of “Pedantic Man,” and gives a fantastic feminist rant about strip clubs (it’s not what you’re thinking!).  Yeah… that’s just a teensy bit of the hilarity that ensues.  Trust me.

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Geeks You Should Know: Gary Gygax

gygax

I think it’s appropriate to bring back Geeks You Should Know with one of the true heavy hitters, Gary Gygax. Gygax is best known as the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, the mother of all roleplaying game. Growing up in Wisconsin, Gygax developed a love for games of all kinds which eventually led him to find more complex miniature war games. Unsatisfied with the games that existed, Gygax began to develop his own game which didn’t require expensive, detailed miniatures and that allowed for more freedom of play. Through several iterations and in collaboration with fellow gamers, Gygax gradually developed the rules that would become D&D. Eventually Gygax, along with Don Kaye, founded Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) which soon published the initial run of D&D rulebooks. In 1986 Gygax had a falling out with TSR and resigned all his positions in the company. Gygax passed away in March of 2008.

red box dungeons and dragons

Gygax is the one person most responsible for the development of Dungeons & Dragons. While the initial run of D&D was more of a collaborative effort, by the time Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) rolled around, Gygax was doing nearly all the writing. For geeks raised in the 80’s there is nothing quite like AD&D. Many of these people didn’t even realize they were geeks until they set eyes on their first “red box.” Not only is D&D still a significant part of geek culture, but it also inspired all manner of other roleplaying games. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the direct connection between those first games in Gygax’s basement and modern roleplaying games like World of Warcraft. Gygax was also not afraid to be a geek publicly, even voicing his animated self in an episode of Futurama.Gary_Gygax

In addition to co-creating Dungeons & Dragons, Gygax is also the founder of Gen Con, the annual gaming convention. Lake Geneva is Gygax’s home town and the location of the very first convention, from which the name Gen Con is derived. It’s worth noting that although they are moderately different in focus, Gen Con pre-dates San Diego Comic Con by two years.

If Gary Gygax had one major flaw, it was being a geek and a gamer first, and a business man somewhere else, way down the line. Due to his less than ideal leadership, TSR was eventually forced to sell out to Wizards of the Coast, though doing so allowed D&D to continue through many updates to this day. Several generations of geeks owe the foundations of their identity to the efforts and imagination of Gary Gygax.

 

 

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Filed under Andrew Hales, Geek Life, Geeks You Should Know

Around the Web January 31, 2014

Welcome to the end of January! We’ve made it through the first month of a new year and so far so good. Let us celebrate survival with a new Around the Web.

As a grown man, I am not ashamed to say I still play with Legos. When I’m feeling like I really suck at being an engineer, I’ll go pick up a small set and put it together and it usually makes me feel better about my engineering skills.  Now the Lego Cuusoo program has announced a new set I won’t be waiting to get, Ghostbusters. That’s right, everyone’s favorite paranormal investigation and extermination professionals will soon be available in Lego form.

Who you gonna call?

Who you gonna call?

I think I know just the place for them.

BGR is reporting that there is a “verified insider” leaking some very juicy information about the Xbox One’s future. The information first appeared on the NeoGAF forums and gives us some interesting (and hopefully true) tidbits. Among the most interesting is that there is a $399 Xbox One coming, but that it won’t include an optical drive. I’ve got mixed feelings about that. I don’t really need the optical drive for games, as I’ve been embracing digital downloads lately, but having the Xbox as a Blu Ray player would also be nice.

xbox one

Now we will just have to see how much of this rumor actually turns out to be accurate.

Marvel Universe LIVE! will be a live action stage production featuring many of our favorite Marvel heroes. Marvel has recently released some information concerning the plot and it looks interesting. The show will revolve around members of the Avengers attempting to gain pieces of the Cosmic Cube (the Tesseract from The Avengers and Captain America) so they can defeat Loki. In the process they will battle several other recognizable Marvel villians like Doc Oct, Red Skull and the Green Goblin.

I’m already look at which day I want to go see this. It happens to be coming to a town near me.

What kind of Geeks would we be if we let the 40th birthday of Dungeons and Dragons slip past us without recognition?  For many of us, this is the game that started it all and A Guide to Geekdom provides a nice history of D&D in addition to the author’s own personal experiences with the game.

red box dungeons and dragons

Personally I haven’t ever played the game, though I’ve recently been looking into finding a group and learning how.

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