Category Archives: gary gygax

Third Annual Worldwide D&D Game Day

March 21st 2009 is the third annual Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day, celebrating the fantasy role-playing game created by the late Gary Gygax waaay back in the 1970s.

So grab your polyhedron dice, graph paper and lead miniatures, along with a two-liter of Mountain Dew and a bag of Doritos, re-memorize your spells and sharpen your two-handed swords and get out there and play some D&D!

Events are happening at my favorite local gaming (and comics) store, All Things Fun!, as well as locations throughout America and Europe. Start getting ready for your saving rolls!

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Uncle Monsterface – This is an Adventure!

Uncle Monsterface is one of those bands that has to be seen and heard. You just can’t get the full effect from listening to their music, even though the tunes are very cool. The Massachusetts-based ‘sock puppet rock band’ is an experience. Taking their musical cues from Devo, Ookla the Mok, the Dead Milkmen and They Might Be Giants, and their lyrical inspiration from videogames, comic books, television and even Harry Potter – throw in some “Muppet Show” sensibility, a little improv cabaret and some “Kids in the Hall,” and you’ve got the full Monsterface stage experience.

Like their previous work, the new album “This is an Adventure!” is another loving musical journey back into geek pop culture. Superheroes, videogames and Dungeons & Dragons permeate the tunes as well as the most fun you’ve had since you played your Nintendo 64. My favorites are “Kill Your Boyfriend!” “Save Our Superheroes,” “The Gary Gygax Song” and especially that clash of the titans, “Mashed Potato Vs. Vampire.” But the whole CD is marvelous. And if you hurry, you can download it for free, with a promise, at their website. Your favorite Uncle is also available on iTunes as well.

Don’t forget to check them out when they come to your town with Harry and the Potters and Math the Band on the Unlimited Enthusiasm Tour this summer – in Philly on June 29th. Come on out! After all how many bands have their own sock puppet monster?

Album artwork by Daria Tessler, band photo by Shannon Casey Splain. Uncle Monsterface can also be found on MySpace. And special thanks to the original Potterdelphian, Andrea, for turning me on to this band.

Dungeons and Dragons and Death

E. Gary Gygax, the father of Dungeons & Dragons, passed away this morning.

Most of the world’s nerd/geek culture community is mourning the man’s passing today. For those who don’t know, Gygax created the game “Dungeons & Dragons,” or as most of us geeks know it – D&D.

While I don’t play D&D much any longer, not for years actually, it was a formative force in my young adulthood. I began playing some time in 1980 and it was, as it was for many folks, the gateway drug to other role-playing games. When I began playing it was a seriously nerd thing but eventually became more accepted, and is now in many ways much cooler than it used to be. I met my best friend playing the game, I met my future wife playing the game, heck, I’ve even taught the game in school. I’ve professionally playtested role-playing games and even demonstrated new ones at conventions. More importantly, one of my first professional sales was research for an unpublished sourcebook for a role-playing game. D&D had meant a lot in my life.

Sorry to see Gary missed his final saving roll. Rest in peace, man.