I found myself at <a href=http://www.pegasusgames.comPegasus Games (the shop Pegasaurus Games in Dork Tower is based on) last night.

It’s been a while since I was back there. Too long, in fact.

I was sort of surprised that the store was open as late as it was, as I drove past it. So I stopped in to say “hi” to Suzanne.

I picked up a Swear Bear, and the new edition of Talisman, and realized I was pretty darned charged about getting this. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve been this excited to buy a game.

Wandering around the store, I noticed a bunch of kids in the back room, playing games.

They were high school age, mostly: a few seemed older; a few seemed younger. There were some geeks and nerds, some who seemed the type who’d be social outcasts in school, and some who didn’t.

But they all had a place to come, and play with pals, and lose themselves in their many worlds.

I got back to the front of the store, and said “hi” to some more people I hadn’t seen in too long.

“You heard about Gary Gygax?” they asked.

“Yeah.” I said. And I looked around.

I saw shelves and shelves of roleplaying games like D&D, GURPS and Vampire, card games like Magic and Munchkin, miniatures games like Warhammer, just dozens and dozens – hundreds, in fact – of games, toys, dice, gamer comic books, gamer collectibles, you name it.

“You know,” I said, to nobody in particular. “If it hadn’t been for Gary and Dave (Arneson), none of this would probably be here.”

“Hmmm,” said Suzanne, behind the counter.

Oh, sure, there’d be some wargames and such. Historical miniatures. But nearly everything else…almost the entire hobby games field…it pretty much all sprang directly or indirectly from those first books. To say nothing of the multi-billion video game industry.

I’d held off doing a tribute cartoon yesterday, since I didn’t have a really good idea of what to say, or how to say it. All I could think to do was change the colors of the Dork Tower website to black, take down the advertising, and go into mourning, for a bit. Probably cliched, yes, but it felt right.

But then, that moment at Pegasus Games, seeing the kids in the back, laughing their heads off, and having a great time, I knew exactly what I wanted to say.

Thanks, Dave and Gary. Thanks for pretty much all of what my life’s now about.

And Gary…

…God speed.

John

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