Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dave Arneson

Well, the news is official this time, and it's certainly sad. There are already a number of tributes to the man and his work sprouting up across the blogs and other spots in the web. I won't bother linking to them since you'll be able to find them easily enough and they'll all have done a better job at commemorating the man than I ever could.

I'm only taking a brief moment here to give a nod to one of the co-creators of the game that we all enjoy, whose creative style and sensibilities meshed well enough with Mr. Gygax's to create something that - little were they aware, I am sure - would become a cultural phenomenon spanning the globe and spawning several multi-million dollar industries and created a household name that even the uninitiated recognized and understood.

I will note that, likely due to my age, I never used Blackmoor or the First Fantasy Campaign or really anything that was distinctly Arneson's, and I don't think I'm alone in this. There is currently an entire generation of gamers who recognize Arneson only as a name written briefly in the front of their PHB's and to whom they have no more solid or tangible connection than they do to the other roots of the game they play. Dave Arneson is "just another name" really, and that's a very sad thing.

In any case, I offer my salute today to one of the two men who helped give us a new way to play cowboys and indians, and who talked to us like we were adults no matter what.

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