E. Gary Gygax passed away in 2008. His widow Gail has worked tirelessly since that time to pave the way for a public memorial to the man who inspired the imaginations of so many people, and she says she is now close to seeing that dream become a reality. Her efforts in lobbying the City of Lake Geneva’s parks board have resulted in dedicated space in Donian Park for the monument to her late husband.
“It’s been a real labor of love,” she says, citing the challenges of raising funds and awareness of the project through her 501c3 organization, the Gary Gygax Memorial Fund. But according to Gail, as of this year, the fund is close to reaching its financial goal. Celebrated fantasy artist Larry Elmore, who worked with Gygax, will design a dragon for the memorial, which will also feature a four-sided castle tower, medieval pole-arms and the Gygax family crest.
Gail hopes to complete the project in 2015. “We know the gamers are going to come and see this,” she says matter-of-factly. “Lake Geneva is a Mecca to these guys.” To that end, the current renderings include a space for fans to deposit the game’s iconic polyhedron dice as a tribute.
When asked why Gygax is such a beloved figure in the gaming community even years after his death, Gail points out that Dungeons & Dragons is essentially an immersive social experience. “Gary invented a game that created lifelong relationships,” she says. “In life that’s what everyone should do: work together to achieve a common goal. The friendships that these players form is everything.”
From At The Lake Magazine
Winter 2015 Issue
"Dungeons & Dragons: A Journey of Imaginations"
by Anne Morrissy