Talk:Gary Gygax

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Good article Gary Gygax has been listed as one of the Sports and recreation good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.


I have the long biography. Idea123 (talk) 16:06, 8 January 2009 (UTC)idea123 Aiiieeeee!! According to the latest notes on the GA review, this source is currently unavailable. Wow, that is a big problem. I've tried to search that down on the internet, but haven't had any luck finding that yet.

It looks like that was first added over three years ago by K.Nevelsteen, a user who left Wikipedia a few months ago. So, it may not be possible to simply ask where that user specifically got that source.

Scanning through this talk page though, it does seem that Gary may have sent Kim that information via e-mail specifically for inclusion in this article. It would be super lurvely if we had access to that text somehow.

If we can't access this information, it will probably need to be re-sourced from different sources. BOZ (talk) 19:27, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Terribly sorry I hadn't noticed that sooner. Ugh, no idea it was that sort of thing--only other references I find on Google for that particular phrase are other Wikis--who likely got it from us. Jclemens (talk) 19:33, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not your fault - somehow everyone missed that, or forgot about it since that happened so long ago. :) There are plenty of bios and articles with bio info that I can re-source it all if that's the way we need to go. I've printed up a few to peruse, and I'll get even more available for myself, but unless someone can produce the original thing that Gary sent to Kim, that looks like what we'll have to do. I'll ping a few users first and see if anyone else can help with this quandry. BOZ (talk) 19:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that if no one feels like challenging some of the statements, they don't necessarily have to be sourced. A quick survey says that about half of them aren't likely to be challenged (who is really going to dispute how many grandkids he has?). Jclemens (talk) 19:55, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I have a faint memory of this being a no-longer available web page that may not be available via archives like But I can't for the life of me remember where it came from. I'll mull on it further, but I'm not optimistic. I poked the original editor who added it, just in case he comes back. — Alan De Smet | Talk 23:30, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
It isn't this is it? shadzar-talk 04:56, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Shadzar, not that I know of. Notice that I also got a few more links on this thread as well. Here's what I'm thinking of doing. Regardless of whether we find that source, I will not remove it from the article (for now). I will find as much of the info sourced to that biography in other bios written on him, and add those cites on. If, by then (a few days from now) we will still need to have the "Longbio" on hand to jump the last hurdle to GA, I will remove all references to it. It will be done soon. :) BOZ (talk) 02:21, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
You don't have to remove it, necessarily. It might look cleaner, but just because a source is "lost" doesn't mean it never existed, just that it can't be relied upon. Adding another source should be adequate to satisfy the GA reviewer, I suspect. Jclemens (talk) 02:37, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
You'd be the best judge of what will satisfy the GA reviewer, I'd imagine.  ;) Fair enough, over the next day or two as I find the time I'll tack on at least one more source to everything currently cited to the "longbio" as I mentioned above, and I shall do no more. :) BOZ (talk) 04:08, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

For reference, these are the 8 statements that need to be sourced again; some will be easier to fix than others (and some may not be fixable without the original document?) - feel free to beat me to any of these:

  1. Gen Con is now North America's largest annual hobby-game gathering.
  2. Together with Don Kaye, Mike Reese and Leon Tucker, Gygax created a military miniatures society, Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association (LGTSA), with its first headquarters in Gygax's basement.
  3. In January 1974 the game was first released by TSR as a boxed set, and a hand-assembled print run of 1000 copies sold out within nine months.
  4. In the same year, Gygax hired Tim Kask to assist in the transition of TSR's magazine The Strategic Review into the fantasy periodical The Dragon, with Gygax as author and later as columnist.
  5. By 2005, Gygax had seven grandchildren.
  6. ...having almost suffered a heart attack after receiving incorrect medication to prevent further strokes after those on April 1 and May 4 2004.
  7. Even while his health failed, gaming remained very much a part of his life.
  8. Gary Gygax received several awards related to gaming (presumably some or all of those listed were found in the bio)

BOZ (talk) 05:11, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Sourced these to existing sources... got a few more to do. BOZ (talk) 06:12, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
By the way... have a look at this. :) BOZ (talk) 17:32, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I am going to use the Kyngdoms interview linked by Shadzar above (and listed under the article's external links; it will be transformed into a web citation as I go) probably extensively tomorrow and over the weekend. It seems chock full of info, and while it is not "longbio" it clearly does make reference to that bio, so I bet I could reference most of what is not yet referenced, and probably straighten out a few more things in the article.BOZ (talk) 05:23, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I think I've milked that interview for about as much as I can, although it definitely allowed me to provide additional cites on various items and clarify a number of things. The remaining items need citing relate to his health and personal life, which most of the sources speak little or nothing of. :) I will see what else I can do... BOZ (talk) 19:35, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Searching Google... seems to source #5 and #6, if we could count on that as a reliable source. might help with #2, despite the arguing? :)

If those aren't quite good enough, I'm not sure what else to do... BOZ (talk) 21:14, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Woohoo! :) I'm taking a break... there a tons of links above for anyone who wants to do any more fixing on this article. BOZ (talk) 02:13, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Hello guys. Sorry, I haven't been on Wikipedia much. Thanks to BOZ and Alan De Smet for their messages. I can supply the document in question... no problem. It should be lurking on my harddrive. How did you want it? Just upload it to wiki? --User:K.Nevelsteen (talk) 08:10, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

What about here: User:K.Nevelsteen/Gary_Gygax_Biography? — STAR TREK Man [Space, the final frontier...] 13:15, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
That page doesn't seem to exist... -Drilnoth (talk) 14:10, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
It's just I was telling him to cut and paste his document in this place ... — STAR TREK Man [Space, the final frontier...] 14:32, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh. Duh. I hadn't seen his comment there. My bad. -Drilnoth (talk) 14:39, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Um, the file is a doc file and if I upload it, I want it to remain intact as I got it. So, copy paste is not an option. I can upload it as attach perhaps. Someone who is up to date with current wiki protocol, please advise.
Thanks again Kim, your help has been invaluable to this article thus far, and will be even moreso if you can provide this for us. BOZ (talk) 04:25, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I really had a lot of fun talking with Gary, so that was reward enough. It's nice to be appreciated though. =) --K.Nevelsteen (talk) 14:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Kim has sent me a copy of the "LONGBIO" document; it comes straight from the source. Due to some personal information regarding his family, I cannot post the whole thing anywhere, out of respect for both Gary's wishes and WP:BLP. However, you can ask for anything in it and I'll post, and at some point I'll try to get a list or something of what's in there. A lot of it is stuff that's not in the Wiki article, but then a lot of it probably shouldn't be (although if you are curious, I can definitely share some of those pieces). If the current attribution is insufficient, I'll have to see what we can do about that. I'm sure it was never published, but there is a copyright date on it. BOZ (talk) 14:12, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

If it wasn't published, it's sadly a problematic source, as other people can't realistically track down a copy to confirm things. That said, I'm surprised it wasn't published, since K.Nevelsteen got their hands on a copy. ("A few photocopies run off and mailed to people" counts as published, as would "emailed to people who asked." :-) ) Any idea on what we're looking at? — Alan De Smet | Talk 17:48, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Other people besides Kim have definitely seen it, and I'm sure Gary has shared it with people before. The Kyngdoms interview, for one, makes reference to it, and I could swear I've seen similar references to the bio in other places. I know that makes it not the best source possible, and like others have been doing, I'm going to do my best to replace cites to it with cites to other things. It'll take a little time to do that though, but I should have some time for that in a little while. BOZ (talk) 00:12, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
So how about this: if I replace something from Longbio with a ProQuest source, and you find another freely available source, go ahead and add that one alongside mine. I'll compare, and remove the non-free-to-read source if the free one is as good or better. Sound good? 01:03, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll do what I can, but I may not be able to do much in that regard. Yes, it is easier for all to be able to check a freely-available online source, but there is no such requirement to do so if the source can be read by someone diligent enough. BOZ (talk) 02:12, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
If Gary circulated it to people interviewing him or reporting it, it's reasonably published, if difficult to acquire. So I have absolutely no objections to using it. If we can replace citations with more widely available sources, all the better, but that's just icing on the cake. — Alan De Smet | Talk 18:52, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Plus, he apparently did bother to get it copywritten, if the little symbol on there can be assumed to be true. :) It's not the best source for a lot of things (and the worst possible kind of source for some things), but for some stuff (like how he played his own little version of LARPS in the 1940s) it's ideal. BOZ (talk) 19:21, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Moving on[edit]

Thanks everyone who helped in any way, your effort was worth it.  :) I'm moving on to see what can be done with the Wizards of the Coast article. Join me there if you like, or join me wherever I end up after that. I'm taking this page off my watchlist now. :) BOZ (talk) 21:35, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Futurama citations[edit]

I haven't found a single source for citing the Futurama tribute. Here's what I have so far; I welcome someone else to integrate them if you want. — Alan De Smet | Talk 04:24, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

  • "Gary Gygax gets a mention at the end of the film, with a clip from his cameo on an older episode after the credits which is nice, considering how much of a role D&D has in the film."

Add'tl writings - indie[edit]

Foreword (well, forward) Wayfarer:Infinity (isbn:0946455716) - (talk) 23:05, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


Anyone think that this would be a reasonable article to work up to FA-class? I think that I can add in quite a few sources. -Drilnoth (talk) 16:24, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Count me in (as a participant, not reviewer) if you decide to go for it. I've got little FA experience to contribute, but I'll do what I can. Jclemens (talk) 16:45, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Excellent! I'll get to work on finding some more citations, improving the prose where it's needed, checking image fair-use rationales, checking external links, etc. -Drilnoth (talk) 16:48, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Hey, allright. :) J, speaking of FA, we've got Ravenloft (D&D module) up for consideration, and we've also got Gen Con waiting for someone to take it on for GAN, if you might be interested. BOZ (talk) 17:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to work on trimming the various lists of works; I just finished up the list of D&D modules. If you think that any of the ones which I removed should be kept, please don't hesitate to add them back in. -Drilnoth (talk) 20:25, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
After being involved in the Ravenloft FA, I think it's safe to say that having all three of the fair-use images in this article probably won't pass. I think that we can probably do two; which should we remove? -Drilnoth (talk) 23:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Are you aware that Flint Dille, who worked with Gary on a few books, is the brother of Lorraine Williams? Check out this for more on the Dille family. Gary liked Flint (the G.I. Joe character was probably named after him), and thought his sister would make a good manager for TSR when he was having problems with Brian Blume and his brother... that didn't work out too well though. :) BOZ (talk) 00:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I was not aware of that; most interesting. -Drilnoth (talk) 01:14, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I guess Flint has a very tangential relationship to D&D, mostly through association with others. Not sure he should be on the D&D project though, but he should definitely be on WP bio. ;) BOZ (talk) 01:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You have a point. -Drilnoth (talk) 01:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I am going to momentarily nominate this for FA-class. -Drilnoth (talk) 22:13, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh well; at least now we have a nice list of things to work on before re-nomination. -Drilnoth (talk) 03:44, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Yep! No oppose votes was a good thing, but no support votes was a bad thing. :) Like I said before, Dungeons & Dragons was nominated 5 times before it made FA-class. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. BOZ (talk) 03:50, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Conflicting accounts[edit]

I've seen in various places that Chainmail was written in 1968 and in 1971. I know that it was published in 1971, but was wondering what date it was actually written, if anyone can help. Thanks! -Drilnoth (talk) 16:34, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Another conflict is whether Gygax met Arneson at Gen Con 2 (per the reference in the article) or Gen Con 4 (per The Game Inventor's Guidebook. -Drilnoth (talk) 22:55, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
That might be from the part of one interview where Arneson identifies the time he met Gygax - naturally, two different people remember events two different ways. We may just have to cut out the year if they conflict and say that "they met at Gencon" and leave it at that. BOZ (talk) 23:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good. -Drilnoth (talk) 23:40, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
The reference in the Dave Arneson article says he met Gary at GenCon 1970. BOZ (talk) 04:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)


I've removed the following section from the article because it doesn't really fit in anywhere, and it too short as its own section. It would probably be best located at Wiktionary.

[[Futurama]] writer [[Eric Kaplan]] mentioned in 2008 that he asked Gary Gygax if he, himself had created [[role-playing games]]. Kaplan recounts that Gygax "very modestly said No. As long as kids have been playing cops & robbers and cowboys & indians, they've been playing roleplaying games".<ref>Kaplan, Eric : "Bender's Game" DVD, Features: ''D&D&F'' (''Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama''), 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 2008.</ref>

-Drilnoth (talk) 12:28, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Presumably you mean WikiQuote? I agree that for now there's not much point in that section. "Legacy" generally implies long-term effects. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:39, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Yep; Wikiquote. My bad. -Drilnoth (talk) 12:43, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Death Threats & Bodyguards[edit]

I want to find and include more information on this. What is there is pretty minimal, and doesn't even concretely specify the year ('81 or '82) when this happened. It sounds like Gygax himself is the only source on much of this, unfortunately. Jclemens (talk) 17:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I am available and will answer a limited amount of questions. Idea123 (talk) 17:35, 5 January 2009 (UTC)idea123

And who might you be? :) BOZ (talk) 20:50, 5 January 2009 (UTC)


Hey there. I've been working in some of the info from the "longbio" source. I'm not going to use everything from it, since some of it is info about his family and some of it simply doesn't belong in a bio. Some of it I may just post here on the talk page for the curious, but I'll have to use my judgment to avoid posting stuff that he would have preferred not to have up here.

It begins with a timeline, most of which was already in the article, so I just added the parts that weren't. If I added anything that seems too trivial, feel free to edit out. There are a couple of things that I have no idea how to work in:

1988-94 Creator/author under contract to Omega Helios Limited

1995-on Creator/author under contract to Trigee Enterprises Corporation

BOZ (talk) 21:56, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

The next section after the timeline is a list of works, from which the list of works formerly in the article was apparently derived. About the only items mentioned in longbio that weren't in the article at some point, if you think they might be worth mentioning, are (note that some of the "pending publication" items may have been printed since this was written in 2005):

Creative Works[edit]

WARRIORS OF MARS Game (Science Fantasy, with Brian Blume)

CODEX ERDE Search for the Lost City introductory adventure for THE LOST CITY OF GAXMOOR D20 adventure module (Ernie & Luke Gygax with David Moore) Troll Lord Games, 2002

THE LEJENDARY ADVENTURE™ PROJECT (current) Role-Playing Games, Accessories, & Adventure Scenarios:

ENCLAVE (Chris Clark), Adventure module editor, Hekaforge Productions, 2000

LEJENDARY ASTEROGUES Fantastical Science LA RPG Genre Expansion, currently (2005) being developed for publication in 2006 or thereafter

LEJENDARY ELDER WORLDS Core Rules and World Setting base for a Science Fiction Genre Expansion of the LA Game, currently (2005) being developed for publication in 2006 or thereafter

LEJENDARY WILD WEST Fantasy Western LA RPG Genre Expansion, currently (2005) being developed for publication in 2006 or thereafter

Pending Publication: LEJENDARY EARTH World Setting, Parts 4-5 (coming in 2005-6), Hekaforge Productions

SHAMANISM & WITCHERY Core Rules expansion for the LA RPG, Troll Lord Games

TOME OF KNOWLEDGE Core Rules additions for the LA RPG, Troll Lord Games

MORE BEASTS OF LEJEND Core Rules additions for the LA RPG, Troll Lord Games

LEJENDARY PANTHEONS book of LE world Setting Deities for the LA FRPG, Troll Lord Games

KEY OF SAND Lejendary Earth sourcebook

MALEDICTED Lejendary Earth sourcebook

LEJENDARY PANTHEONS Lejendary Earth sourcebook(s)

WELL OF SHADOWS Lejendary Adventure/Lejendary Earth module

GENERIC and “D20 Open Game License” (* indicates+ LA Game) RPG WORKS Gary Gygax’s Essential Places for the fantasy milieu, “Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds, Volume VIII”, Zane McCarthy (to be released), Troll Lord Games, 2005

Gary Gygax’s Fantasy Fortifications for the fantasy milieu, “Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds, Volume X”, Robert A. Nolan (to be released), Troll Lord Games, 2005=6

Gary Gygax’s Fantastic Folk & Mythical Monsters for the fantasy milieu, “Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds, Volume XI”, Craig Peters (to be released), Troll Lord Games, 2005-6

Gary Gygax’s High Seas Fantasy for the fantasy milieu, “Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds, Volume XII”, Kelly Doherty (to be released), Troll Lord Games, 2006

Possibly several other books in the “Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds” series are slated for production in 2007-7, Gary Gygax series editor,

The Hermit*, dual-stat d20/LA game adventure module, Troll Lord Games, August 2002

Castle Wolfmoon* (Chris Clark with Gary Gygax) D20/LA game adventure module (to be released later by), Inner City Game Designs (spring-summer 2006)

Board Games

War of Empires (Science Fiction, authored with Tuillo Proni), privately produced and managed PBM-only Science Fiction wargame

Diplomacy® Game Variants (non-commercial game variants) Conanomacy



Chess Game Variants

Various others in a work, 21st Century Chess Variants, that are available in electronic format on my website


LANKHMAR (TSR) Fantasy Board Game — rules and playing board

Play Testing (ask and I'll list them)

Alternate History:

Victorious German Arms, with Terry Stafford (T-K Graphics. 1973)

“Swords of Eternity” (Fantasy short story based on Fritz Leiber’s “Lankhmar” universe, featuring Sheelba, Ningauble, Fafhrd, and the Gray Mouser—still unpublished.)

Articles Authored


Consultation for Computer and Paper Game Publishers

Various consulting work for computer game producers as to game content and interactive play elements, of which I am not at liberty to discuss the specific nature of the work or the companies for whom I did it. The same is true in regard to consulting work done for paper game publishers.

Computer Game Design

Of the score or so of designs and design proposals that have been developed, three were optioned—one fantasy and two science fiction games. All three, however, were not to see production for various reasons beyond the author’s control, including the sale of the production entity and cancellation of all projects not in full development in the case of the last such game Gygax authored.

The Lejendary Adventure Game as a Massively Multiplayer Persistent Online RPG

As of this date Dreams Interactive has been licensed to produce the LA MMPO RPG, and work is proceeding well.

One can check into this at to see where things are currently at. Gygax is intimately involved in the development of this game, and it promises to offer not only the best graphics ever seen in the medium, but also many new features to set it apart from all other similar online offerings. Beta testing is expected to commence in late 2003.

BOZ (talk) 01:37, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Special Awards[edit]

Most of the stuff in this section also came from "longbio", and here's some more that isn't currently in the article:


…in addition to being a Member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels:

1981 Origins Game Convention Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame

1984 GAMES Magazine GAMES Hall of Fame

1994 GAMA Game Manufacturers Association Honor of for long- term contribution to industry Service Award

2004 Origins Award Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame Honors

BOZ (talk) 02:11, 19 December 2008 (UTC)


PUBLIC SPEAKING APPEARANCES (not a comprehensive list - covers numerous appearances from 1980-2005; I'll post if you want to see)

ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION APPEARANCE Dexter’s Laboratory: Honorable mention of “Gygax” name for Dexter’s character


Dozens of interviews in newspapers nationwide, and on various radio and television shows both local and national in scope. Highlights include the following: (It is impossible to list the appearances of articles or news stories about Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games, as they have appeared in the majority of newspapers in the country.)


Entertainment Tonight


PM Magazine

60 Minutes

Tom Snyder Show

National German Television

Radio (many shows* including)

Michael Jackson Show ABC Network

WJR Detroit

Stations in France and the United Kingdom

  • Approximately one hundred radio interviews done in regard to role-playing and games, and some dozen for the “L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future” contest, the last of those in 1991.






INC. Magazine

JEUX de CARTE (France)









Wall Street Journal (exclusive feature)

Most major metropolitan newspapers, including:

Chicago Tribune

Los Angeles Times

New York Times

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

USA Today

Washington Post

Others in Great Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan

Interviews have centered on creativity, authorship, computer games and entrepreneurial business, recently the history of the role-playing game, the effects of computer and online role-playing games, and the Lord of the Rings movie.

Two Mentions that fall into the “No Comment” Department

Trivial Pursuit (original version): Gary Gygax as the answer to a question therein.

Time Magazine, 24 November 2002: Gary Gygax as being influenced by the work of Tolkien.



Entry of Gygax name under that for Dungeons & Dragons as of 13 March 2003:

“Dungeons and Dragons, n.

”A proprietary name for: a fantasy role-playing game set in an imaginary world based loosely on medieval myth, in which players' characters undertake (individual) quests at the direction of a player in the role of the Dungeon Master, who dictates the nature of their environment, the obstacles they are to overcome, etc.; abbreviated D & D. Also allusively: a situation or undertaking likened to a game of Dungeons and Dragons, esp. in involving a complex and unpredictable sequence of events, out of the control of the protagonist.

”1974 E. G. GYGAX & D. ARENESON (title) Dungeons & Dragons: rules for fantastic medieval wargames campaigns playable with paper and pencil and miniature figures. 1979 N.Y. Times 8 Sept. 10/2 An elaborate version of a bizarre intellectual game called Dungeons and Dragons. 1982 London Rev. Bks. 30 Dec. 7/3 Dungeons and Dragons, with its whole spin-off family of Role-Playing Games, is much easier to categorise. 1987 New Yorker 20 Nov. 110/2 His Global Project reads like an elaborate boys' gamea revolutionaries' Dungeons and Dragons. 1991 Vanity Fair Dec. 90/1 He was slowly, then rapidly, sucked into a kind of covert-ops version of Dungeons & Dragons, with that memo as his guide and Michael Riconosciuto as his Dungeon Master. 1994 Etc. Montréal 15 Feb. 39/1 At the IFFM, beneath a long black leather coat.., Tarantino sports a goth-rock, dungeons-and-dragons type t-shirt, plus jeans and sneakers. 2001 Toronto Star (Electronic ed.) 9 Apr., Computer cousins to paper-and-pen games like Dungeons and Dragons, role-playing video games involve player-created characters moving through fantasy landscapes.”

BOZ (talk) 02:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Personal Facts & Stories[edit]

The rest of the "longbio" (about half of it) is taken up by various things, most of which I shouldn't really post here. :) Some of it may be OK to share, depending on what it is, but I'll be conservative as far as that goes. Included are information on his birthplace, parents, wife, children, grandchildren, religion, hobbies, interest in history, special likes, earliest memories, what he liked as a boy, radio programs, music, cooking, some grudging admissions, entertainment, some favorite books, some favorite films, jobs he's worked, favorite magazines, former residences, foreign countries he's visited, states he's missed, monumental historical events in his lifetime, and paranormal experiences. He also describes what it's like for him at work, and some other ambitions. Like I say, I won't post most of that here, but I'll consider some of it.

If I didn't mention it somewhere in this thread, and it hasn't already been in the article, then it's not in "LONGBIO". :) The end. ;) BOZ (talk) 02:30, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good! -Drilnoth (talk) 02:41, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I just remembered, I have an interview with GG somewhere in the house from White Dwarf 14 I will try to dig up. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

from WD 14 Interview[edit]

OK - from White Dwarf 14 (Aug/Sept 1979) article: White Dwarf Interviews Gary Gygax (pp 23-24) author Ian Livingstone. All points below sourced from this article. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Interests - classical music, reading, writing, walking, stamp collecting and tropical fish. He followed the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears in the football.[1]
  • Bought obscure variants of chess from age 14, and bought his first boardgame Gettysburg at age 21.
  • About 90% of readers who tried the fantasy rules for Chainmail liked them.
  • Also cites Dungeon! as an influence on the development of D&D.
Cool. :) BOZ (talk) 04:28, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

What needs better citing?[edit]

I've got access to ProQuest and EBSCOHost, and I've added a few of the refs that I found in appropriate places. Good news on these is that they're all RS; bad news is that the online versions are not available to the general public. I'd like feedback on whether what I've added is beneficial and, if so, what others would like sourced from those full-text news databases. ProQuest has 114 articles on Gygax, EBSCOHost has 12. Jclemens (talk) 06:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Nice work! I'd say that anything currently using the LONGBIO as a ref should be replaced with a non-autobiographical source, if possible. The FAC also mentions lists some of the other not-quite-reliable sources that the article has; many of those have been dealt with already, but there's a few left. Thanks! -Drilnoth (talk) 13:18, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've cited everything to other sources as I could. What's left sourced to Longbio are essentially his childhood, early career, and personal life. There are a couple of rather interesting obits that aren't currently cited, but I'm not sure they'll add anything special to what's already there. Jclemens (talk) 19:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Don Kaye's death[edit]

You know, I'm not sure about January 1976. A lot of details in a lot of sources seem to indicate that he died in 1975, with the formation of TSR Hobbies being in that year (some do conflict and give 1976). I also note that in the Social Security Death Index there is a Donald Kaye who seems a likely match and died in January 1975. Just saying, is all. :) BOZ (talk) 03:43, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Gygax says 75 in his 1979 interview in WD. I can't imagine him making that mistake then. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:50, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


Since I've done a lot of editing on this one, I probably can't do it myself, but any editors besides me think this GA is worthy of A-class? BOZ (talk) 23:14, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

There was a recent proposal somewhere (I forget) that not-listed FAC's should be considered for A class. I, too, don't feel impartial enough to award it, since I would have claimed partial credit for the FA pass if we'd made it. :-) Jclemens (talk) 23:30, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Sure! Per the A-Class criteria, three people need to agree to make a GA into A-Class. -Drilnoth (talk) 23:33, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Rather than pat ourselves on the backs for a job well done, I'd rather see some more impartial editors comment - but maybe we all count as 1/3 of a vote so we only need 2 more.  ;) BOZ (talk) 23:38, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough; I'll see if I can find a place to request additional input. -Drilnoth (talk) 21:42, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
D&D project talk page? ;) I think it is an assessment that can (and maybe should) be made by a specific WP project, I just think the three of us are too involved to make it alone. BOZ (talk) 23:58, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Looks like a good candidate to me, I support the raise to A-Class. FraterNLST (talk) 08:52, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

War historian[edit]

Can we categorize Gygax as a Military Historian? He's a history enthusiast and it was this that inspired him to create war games, so could he be categorized under Category:Military historians? Cooltrainer Hugh (talk) 20:03, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

What qualifications would you need in order to classify him as such? (talk) 03:49, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not aware of Gygax having authored any works about military history, having lectured on it, or generally having made the study of military history a key part of his life. Being an enthusiast isn't enough, nor is making games about it. — Alan De Smet | Talk 22:50, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Gary Gygax vs E. Gary Gygax[edit]

I believe Gygax is more commonly known as "Gary Gygax" than "E. Gary Gygax," especially media coverage over the last decade or so. Given that and , I believe "Gary Gygax" is the better article title. Any reason it was moved to "E. Gary Gygax" instead? — Alan De Smet | Talk 03:45, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Based my reading, Gygax used E. Gary with all TSR products, but I notice that on Journeys, Cyborg Commando, and Gord novels he dropped the first initial. I'd have zero objection if this were moved back to the Gary Gygax namespace. BusterD (talk) 14:48, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
"E. Gary Gygax" was certainly his pen name for *some* of his published work, but I don't know of anyone in the gaming world who commonly used the "E." when referring to him. Did a quick Google: the day after he died, the internet chatter was "Did you hear that Gary Gygax died?", not "Did you hear that E. Gary Gygax died?"For that reason, I would prefer to see the article moved back to "Gary Gygax" as per WP:COMMONNAME. Guinness323 (talk) 17:14, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I did the boldness thing, moved per this discussion, and fixed six double redirects. Funny, there are scores of redirects to this pagespace, but only six to E. Gary. More fish for the kettle. BusterD (talk) 20:02, 14 May 2011 (UTC)


This statement is problematic:

For the second edition of Chainmail, published in 1972, Gygax added a fantasy supplement to the rules.

The fantasy rules were present in both the 1st edition of Chainmail published by Guidon Games in 1971 and the 2nd edition published in 1972. See The Acaeum. An earlier version of the rules was published in the Domesday Book which was a photocopied newsletter with a circulation of no more than 80. The Domesday Book rules did not have the fantasy supplement but they weren't called "Chainmail" either. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grubbiv (talkcontribs) 20:43, 2 October 2011 (UTC)


Why has nothing been said about his faith? Just a quick google gives me this link So the idea is well known, I don't see any good sources but still. -- (talk) 01:41, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"I don't see any good sources...." That's probably a key bit. Making claims about someone's faith without pretty solid evidence is pretty dangerous. If you find some reliable sources about it, please include them! — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:53, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
He has mentioned his feelings on sprituality before in interviews, but he does not really get into specifics. (talk) 19:05, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"co"-father of DnD is ok, but father of role-playing games?[edit]

I read a lot about it, and it was Dave Arneson that actually created the role-playing features in Dungeons and Dragons. Gygax contribution was much more on the "wargame rules" level, since both loved wargames. Actually, if there is a father for role-playing, it would be Arneson. The source cited in the article (a GameSpy interview) doesn't say that. It says Gygax is the father of DnD, and in other place it says DnD is the father of role-playing games. Actually, Gygax is the co-creator of DnD, and if DnD is the father of role-playing games, then the dna in it came from Arneson. I suggest to remove this phrase, since we cannot even say he is "one of the fathers". Arneson turn a wargame (like Chainmail) in a role-playing game (Blackmoor) first and alone. Excuse the rant, that's because I see this mistake over and over. In the cited GameSpy interview, even Gygax recognizes that, in a twisted and indirect way: "Even when you're playing miniatures, there's still some role-playing aspect. You'll pretend to be the commander of the group, and so forth. The one-to-one rules tended to make that aspect more prominent. It was Dave Arnenson, though, who started playing a Chainmail game where each of his players had just one figure on the table. That was the impetus for me (to put together what eventually became Dungeons & Dragons)" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hexacorde (talkcontribs) 00:47, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Dave Arneson freely admitted that David Wesely was the person who first introduced him to role-playing in the late 1960s, when he ran something called a "Braunstein" military scenario where everyone played an individual character who had individual motivations and goals; explains it better. Not to mention that there has been some discussion of the even earlier (1963?) publication by Michael F. Korns, "The Modern War in Miniature....," which includes an example of play that sounds very much like what we now identify as role-playing as well. The "founder of role-playing" argument is far deeper than Gygax versus Arneson, certainly. (talk) 01:14, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I have corrected the claim to match the cited article. "GameSpy sits down with the father of Dungeons & Dragons...." Who is the "real" father role-playing games will probably never be answered. That Gygax has been called the father of D&D is certainly something we can verify. — Alan De Smet | Talk 06:36, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Clinton, Illinois?[edit]

There is a sourced section that suggests he moved to Clinton, Illinois, after separating from his first wife, but the source it links to mentions Frank Mentzer picking him up from his home in Clinton, Wisconsin, and as far as I can tell says nothing about either Illinois or a divorce. (talk) 01:15, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Problem with main photo of Gygax[edit]

Just a subjective suggestion, but I find the main picture of Gygax to be distasteful. Surly we can locate a more dignified photo of the man to represent his article on our encyclopedia. Perhaps a photo like this one.--Nikoz78 (talk) 15:41, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that we need a free image. And why is this picture "distasteful"? (talk) 17:20, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
It can't be that awful, dozens of news sites used the photograph in their announcements of Gygax's death. Of course, they used it because it was photograph they could get, which is why we use it. I'm not real happy with it myself. I took the photograph, and almost immediately I realized it was only a so-so photograph. But I'd already interrupted Gygax's conversation to request the photograph, and I didn't want to further interrupt. I told myself, "No worries, I'll just try again next year."  :-/ So, yeah, if you can find a better photograph under a Wikipedia acceptable license, I'm all for replacing the lead photograph. — Alan De Smet | Talk 01:08, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if I still have it, but there was one photo that Gary gave me upon request for a "better photo". It was removed a long time ago. I can see if I still have it. Email me, if it would be acceptable according to wiki licensing (since I am not up to date anymore). — K.Nevelsteen (talk) 08:14, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Availability at EasterCon 1973[edit]

The source most closely cited (#36 as of right now, for the claim that the game debuted at EasterCon (a UK science fiction convention, incidentally) 1973 says absolutely nothing about it, and if you Google the issue you will find lots of chatter ridiculing the idea that the game was available before 1974, "pre-release" form or not. Certainly there is no citation for this claim, in any case, but I do not want to just take it out lest someone put it right back. (talk) 11:13, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

The source says "In 1973, Gygax collaborated with Don Kaye and Brian Blume ... The game appeared that same year at EasterCon. Pre-release copies were in circulation by the end of 1973, but the first commercial version of Dungeons & Dragons was published in January 1974", and this is attributed to Greg Costikyan. (talk) 15:04, 31 January 2013 (UTC)


I would like to propose Image:Gary_Gyax_-_ModCon_1999_-_1.jpg for the main image for the article. The current main picture is just plain ugly!--K.Nevelsteen (talk) 08:30, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

My, my , my![edit]

Looks as though one of the users here has a highly proprietary view of this article, even going to the point of undoing a grammatical revision that sought to bring clarity to a muddy section. This article is far too wordy, badly written and overly footnoted, needs all the help that one might sneak past the fierce guardian of this tripe a la mode de wiki. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Livingstone, Ian (August/September 1979). "White Dwarf interviews Gary Gygax". White Dwarf. London: Games Workshop (14): 23–24.  Check date values in: |date= (help)