International GM's Day designed to "to honor and praise the incredible diligence and impartial rulings of a game master."
Now I don't know about that "mission statement", as it were, but it sounds laudable. To me March 4th is more about remembering the man, well one of the men, that brought us not just Dungeons & Dragons, but role playing games in general.
It seems lately there's been a huge upswing in books and documentaries about the early days of D&D and about Gary Gygax. I've backed a couple of documentary Kickstarters and picked up some of these books, but I haven't gone through them all (some have yet to arrive).
It's been 15 years now and I still remember hearing about Gary's passing. Unfortunately I never met the man, but I was friends with plenty who have met and gamed with him....and even though my contact, as it were, was 2nd hand, RPGS have been a huge source of joy to me and most of my friends have been made through gaming connections.
Back in 2008 I was working my way up the HackMaster GM ladder (Technically I only made it to being a Level 4 GM, but I had met the requirements for Level 5....just never submitted that paperwork). My (ex)wife and I had planned on a gaming weekend at our local university and we had guests coming in to Idaho from California, Utah, and even Tennessee! I was able to put our guests up at a local hotel (since I'd earned a lot of Marriott points at work) and we were able to take over a small conference room at Boise State's Student Union.
I don't remember if we had four or five games scheduled, but we did end up cancelling the late afternoon Saturday game and we all headed out to a local pizza place to just hang out and socialize outside of the gaming table. We talked about a lot of stuff.....conversations long since forgotten, but it was not lost on me how this one common thread of RPGs connected us, and thankfully, still connects some of us.
Fifteen years later some of those in attendance at our very own Garycon are still friends. Life happens and managed to get in the way of some of our bonds, but I still keep in touch with those I can. One buddy will be joining me at North Texas RPG Con, which I am really looking forward to. I think we're only scheduled for one game together (so far), but we'll have plenty of time to socialize outside of the table....again.
Gary Gygax day is on July 27th and that's the time to celebrate the man himself, but this weekend, at least for me, it's a time to reflect on the game in general, and how much it has impacted my life.