A mate emailed me yesterday that Gary Gygax had passed away. Like many folk, I too played D&D in my teen years, and most of the group are still playing as we all approach our 40s. Even though I don’t sit down and play with the social group these days (and truth be said haven’t for at least 15 years), roleplaying games remain my thang. My love for interactive fiction, and particularly Infocom (and others), springs from the same well. I was playing God of War on the PS2 last night and that too, reflects the sort of environment or genre that was inspired by the work of Gygax. A mixture of fighting and problem solving, taking on the role of a character and exploring new worlds, or old worlds differently configured. One of the strengths of traditional D&D style gaming is that it’s very social: a group of people, usually gathered in one room, combining their imagination to create a unique storytelling experience. Computer games try to approach this and give as much “freedom” to the gamer as possible, but it falls very, very short of that face to face creativity, where simply tossing a beer mug in a pub can create an interesting story in and of itself.