A lot of buzz has been going around recently about the new and mysterious Gygax Magazine. I sat down with Luke Gygax, son of the late Gary Gygax, and spoke to him about this exciting new opportunity.
Luke, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. With the recent news of the upcoming Gygax Magazine, I'm sure I speak on behalf of many when I say weíre excited!
1. First, for those who do not know, you are the son of the late Gary Gygax, the beloved creator of Dungeons & Dragons. Can you tell us about your father's legacy, and how much it has influenced modern gaming culture?
First of all, Happy Thanksgiving and I appreciate you taking your time to ask me about Gygax Magazine and my involvement in the game community. As you noted, I am one of Gary Gygaxís sons, he had three boys Ernie, Alex and me. Honestly, I donít know that I appreciated fully the impact that my Dad had on not only gaming culture, but popular culture in general, until after his death in March, 2008. You have to remember that for me Gary Gygax was not primarily and author and designer. He was my Dad and the guy that made me eat my vegetables, do my homework and get to bed on time. Sure, I was raised playing with miniatures, dice, board games and having original fantasy adventure stories told to me as bedtime stories, but this was my normal growing up. My Dad was my best friend growing up; I loved him dearly and do what I do publicly in the gaming community to honor his memory.
Thanks to all of the people that shared their story of how D&D influenced their lives after my Dad passed away. It was cathartic for all of the Gygax family to read those posts and to know that many people shared in our grief at that time. I am pleased to report that we found a way to channel that emotion in a positive direction. Gary Con is a convention held every March in Lake Geneva, WI (www.garycon.com). Family, friends and fellow game enthusiasts gather and celebrate his life and works by doing what he loved so much in life- playing games.
Well I have travelled a little off topic here, so let me get dialed back on target. My fatherís legacy to gaming is substantial. He is the Father of Role Playing Gaming. He took elements of improvisational theater, war gaming and heroic swords and adventure literature and developed an open-ended, cooperative game. That was revolutionary! Think about what types of games existed before Dungeons and Dragons. You had board games and card games mostly with a few people playing miniatures war gaming. All of these are one-shot, competitive games that donít allow for much modification/creativity from the players. Role Playing Games were a completely new paradigm and he deserves recognition for bringing that innovation to the world. I think it is also worth noting that he created several key elements that grew the industry and strengthened the nascent gaming community; GenCon gaming convention, TSR, Dragon Magazine and the RPGA.
2. Fantasy role-playing games have had a major influence on contemporary popular culture. With the increase in video games, television shows, and movies that reside in the fantasy/sci-fi genre, do you see this trend continuing, and what role do you hope to play in supporting it?
I think that it is safe to say that sci-fi and fantasy are a part of the mainstream culture today. This was definitely not the case in the 1970ís. D&D introduced thousands of young men and women to the fantasy genre and they created a market for video games, TV and movies to meet their demands. I believe this trend will continue for the foreseeable future and technology will continue to enhance the experience. Hopefully I can be a good proponent of RPGs and gaming in general through running Gary Con and my involvement in Gygax Magazine. Iíd like to see more young people playing pen and paper games instead of video games. A bridge between those two mediums is the next revolution in gaming.
3. As mentioned, you and others, to include your brother E. Gary Gygax Jr., are publishing Gygax Magazine. Can you give us a quick snapshot of what it will be, and will it include content in support of other games?
Gygax Magazine will be a periodical available both in print and digitally that will cover gaming in general. We have a great staff, Tim Kask, Ernie Gygax, Jayson Elliot, Jim Wampler and James Carpio as well as a host of talented authors, artists and designers submitting material. Gygax Magazine is not tied to a particular brand, genre or style of gaming. There will be coverage of current game systems as well as AD&D and other old systems. The vision is to bring the reader quality material from respected authors in the industry. The magazine will have adventure material, advice for game masters and players, as well as staples such as comics (Whatís New With Phil and Dixie and Marvin the Mage).
4. If you could summarize Gygax Magazine with a few choice words, what would they be?
A high quality independent games magazine that will be the new old school.
5. Where do people sign up, and how can they follow you for updates?
We will have the website and face book page up in December when we roll out the first issue of Gygax Magazine. You can go to our website now to sign up to receive notifications at www.gygaxmagazine.com
Thank you, Luke! I hope that people go and check out this new gaming magazine. Also, on a personal note, I would like to thank you for your service in the United States Army. Our nation's military is near and dear to my heart, and I appreciate all that you do.