Jim Moreno's "RoleCraft" MMO ColumnRoleCraft: Thank You, Gary Gygax!Jim Moreno's "RoleCraft" MMO Column - RSS 2.0
In learning about the world, geography is yet another category that was more strongly enforced to me by D&D, more than merely learning about what country is where. Specific things like how an oasis is created and how the seasons differ between an arid and a tropical region. Take geology as another example. It was D&D that taught me first about stalactites and stalagmites, about lichen, about saltpeter, which also leads into alchemy and other sciences in history. Metallurgy, botany, nature, culture, physics, meteorology, orienteering, lions, tigers and bears - well, you get the picture.
All those and many, many more are materials that I had but brief brushes with while in public school, but were shown to me in varying detail through the D&D game. What's also important is that I learned these things at a young age, versus learning about them after my teen years, when they could've remained only figments of various errata, or been missed altogether amongst the daily trials and tribulations of adulthood. Am I saying I would rather not have went to school, and instead just played D&D? No way. Though this may seem to be a lament about how poor the schools I went to were, that is not at all what I am saying. The fact that I went to school AND played D&D is something I think has made me all the better for it.
Gary Gygax didn't create roleplaying, and he didn't create gaming, but it was partly his vision which helped to bring them together into a single format which anyone could access. I, for one, will ever be thankful that he did. I certainly don't think I would be doing what I am today without having experienced his vision, and I mean that in the best way. Sure, the world is full of naysayers and griefers who will always do all they can to make us feel incompetent over feeling so strongly about a game. He had the zeal within him to create a game that is now known throughout the world, so I have no worries whatsoever about feeling the same zest for having played it, and for attempting to share that passion with others through this column, as he shared his with me. Am I hitting or missing? Only time and maybe a d20 will tell. Until then, as I bet Mr. Gygax would want me to do, I'll role on.