Wisconsin Town Approves Land For D&D Creator's Memorial

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Wisconsin Town Approves Land For D&D Creator's Memorial

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Town officials in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin have approved a plot of land for use in a memorial to deceased Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax.

Gygax, alongside Dave Arneson, designed the pen and paper roleplaying game in 1974 as an answer to the staid, military-focused strategy games of the time. The game was a huge success and in the decades since has served as a major influence on every aspect of pop culture, from movies to videogames to every fantasy novel that doesn't spring from the repressed fantasies of Mormon housewives.

Unfortunately, Gygax passed away in 2008 at the age of 69. If you were on the 'net that day, you likely recall the grim pall his passing cast across the entirety of geekdom. It was like the death of a Kennedy, only with a sharp increase in the number of pithy yet touching comments about rolling multi-sided die.

Since his passing, the Gygax Memorial Fund has been hard at work on plans to erect a memorial to the beloved geek demigod, and with the approval of that plot in Wisconsin, the proposal is one giant step closer toward immortalizing Gary Gygax.

The Fund's site explains:

The Gygax Memorial Fund has reached a huge milestone. We have been granted land for the memorial site at Donian Park. Donian Park is a four acre open space site which encompasses a wetland and the 100 year recurrence interval floodplain along the White River in downtown Lake Geneva.

It also details a relevant section of the minutes from a January City of Lake Geneva Board of Park Commissioners meeting:

Library Park was added to the application so that it reads both Donian Park and Library Park as a potential place for a monument. The design would include a castle turret with a bust on top and possibly have a dragon wrapped around the turret. A motion was made by the Mayor to approve the site in Donian Park, south of the walkway, on the southeast corner of Mill Creek. The footprint is not to exceed 10 feet by 10 feet. This was seconded by Phillips. Added to the motion was that Gygax should bring a detailed map to bring to the Council as well as a detailed statue design to come back to the Park Board for approval. Motion passed unanimously.

When I first started researching this news piece I was expecting the memorial to be a statue of Gygax, or maybe an obtuse sculpture of a d20 with a tasteful plaque. Then I read the minutes and find out the memorial is going to be a castle with a dragon wrapped around the base and a Gygax bust on the top.

For anyone else, that might be a tacky concept, but in Mr. Gygax's case, I think the memorial's inherent geekery is both an apropos tribute to the man, and a lovely way to continue his lifelong quest to inspire people toward the fantastic.

Source: Gygax Memorial Fund, via Slashdot

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When I die I hope a castle memorial with a dragon and my bust at the top is also considered appropriate. Here's to you Gygax!

Wow really. That sounds amazing!! I never though this would happen but when that's done I'll actually want to visit Wisconsin.

Couldn't be more proud to be a resident of WI well that and the packers. Besides that we got nothing...moo

Took em long enough to agree though eh.

My gaming group www.quiltcityogres.com is in the planning stages of a road trip movie / event to game at the base of the statue.

That's... really frakkin' cool! I tip my errr... d20 to you, Wisconsin!

Oooh... The night guards for the memorial could be Grues.

Granted, they aren't from D&D, but still, cool idea.

Money well spent Wisconsin. Nerds from miles around will come to visit the memorial.

Hashbrick:
Couldn't be more proud to be a resident of WI well that and the packers. Besides that we got nothing...moo

My thoughts exactly. On Wisconsin!

you got harley davidson, serial killers and a pretty good beer. Seriously what comes out of Wisconsin is surprising (even The Fonze!).

It's a really good thing and I hope it takes up all of it's 10 x 10 footprint allowance as that could be a GREAT big monument. Do we need to see his head though? Perhaps we could walk up the interior and see the bust on a plinth. Perhaps we'll need to roll three 20d and go back the number of steps should we roll two doubles :D

This is great news, he's influenced so many people he deserves it.

wasn't the memorial going to be a statue of the dreaded gazebo?

Wow, that is quite the memorial. Hopefully they get some level 20 guards to keep the place safe.

Mayor: Roll for a diplomacy check - 1d20.

GMF: Hah! 20! Critical success!

Mayor: Curse you, Gygax!

Right on! While I don't play D&D anymore this man made a whole industry! Props to him and all the cool ideas that came after. I hope his family likes the memorial.

Great great man, but I think he deserves a d....20!

There's already a virtual memorial to Gary Gygax in Delera's Graveyard in Dungeons and Dragons Online. There's also one to Dave Arneson in the Ruins of Threnal. The Delera pack and the Threnal pack have voiceovers done by Gygax and Arneson respectively, too.

Still, pretty cool.

The footprint is not to exceed 10 feet by 10 feet.

How apt, given how many D&D rooms were 10 x 10.

If I ever get to Wisconsin again I will be stopping by to see it and roll some dice against the bust for good luck.
You know if you rub your dice on the bust of Gary Gygax you get good luck.

Let the pilgrimages to Wisconsin begin!
What a wonderful way to help bring money to the state huh, Wisconsin?

On my list of things to do before I die is to travel to this park and play D&D there.

Seriously, this should be a gaming mecca.

It will become a site of power, and journying to it will grant you powers!

I have never played D&D (though I am looking for a group willing to take a newbie :P) myself but I respect Mr. Gygax and his creation
(I mean D&D is like the father of the RPG videogame)

so I am glad he is at least getting a statue in his honor
hope to see pics when it is actually made

Lvl 9 samurai hexblade here. Im glad they agreed to this. It's a really great game, that 30 years later people are still enjoying. Thank you Gary for what you gave us gamers.

This is the first time in my entire life I ever wanted to go to Wisconsin.

Arcanist:
Mayor: Roll for a diplomacy check - 1d20.

GMF: Hah! 20! Critical success!

Mayor: Curse you, Gygax!

Gahhhh you robbed me of my painfully obvious and awful joke. Now I'm going to have to think of another... erm... erm... nope got nothing... DAMN YOU ARCANIST, DAMN YOU !!!!!!!.
...
....
.....
-cough-
Anyway good news on the memorial.

Bravo Wisconsin, you offically have +10 to awesome, may all your rolls be 20s.

Xanadu84:
On my list of things to do before I die is to travel to this park and play D&D there.

Seriously, this should be a gaming mecca.

My gaming group (www.quiltcityogres.com) is in the planning and fund raising stages, even working on a kickstarter for it, to film a documentary about us traveling there to game at the statue. Any real DnD nerd would be able to see the honor and passion in a project like that, we think. Gygax touched the lives of people all over the world. He must be paid tribute.

A wonderful thing for WI to do, and smart too. This monument is going to be the mecca of gamers for a long time to come. I fully intend on going to WI once this is complete so I can roll my d20 on the stone to have it blessed.

House rule: Any D20 rolled on GG's monument receives an immediate +5 and counts as "Blessed"

i wanna the grounds keeper that gets to clean up the piles of dice that will be left there.

and yes, it will officially be a pilgrimage location.

Pilgramige time...

Hashbrick:
Couldn't be more proud to be a resident of WI well that and the packers. Besides that we got nothing...moo

Well thats not completely true. We have the 2 of the Great Lakes, lovely prairies and woodlands, and.....cheese.

Also, Californian dairy. Suck our cheese logs! Wisconsin cows #1!

(Disclaimer: Post not meant for all Californians. Just the ones in the dairy industry, and the cows. Suck it Californian cows.)

Earnest Cavalli:

...The footprint is not to exceed 10 feet by 10 feet. ...

I see what you did there.
image

D&D has been a huge part of my life since I was old enough to pick up and read the first Fiend Folio and drool over a Red Box at my local book store.

Thank you Gary.

As awesome as D&D is, this guy wasn't the only one to create it. People often forget that the co-creator (Dave Arneson, anyone?) who worked on it with him got pretty much left in the dust. Not only that, but Gary Gygax had a bad habit of going to conventions where fan made campaigns were held, and then a few months later an 'official' campaign very similar to their own (the fan campaign...) would be on the market.

Mind you, I have no official documentation of this, but I digress.

I'm not saying he didn't help create an amazing game, one that should last for the ages and be enjoyed by all of nerdkind, just that he wasn't the greatest guy around sometimes...

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