Sunday, April 7, 2024

We Lost Dave Arneson 15 Years Ago...Today

We Lost Dave Arneson 15 Years Ago...Today

Today is the 15th Anniversary of Dave Arneson's passing, a little more than a year after we lost Gary. Now I never had the opportunity to meet that latter, but I did briefly meet Dave at GenCon 2008*. I'm not quite sure what kind of sense of humor the man had in life, but I had an idea what it was in death. He was being wheeled around in a wheelchair and it was obvious he knew that his end drew near. I know that sounds a little macabre and I'd apologize, but that's exactly how it sat with me.

Anyway, he was going around visiting the booths and handing out these little baggies. I was at the KenzerCo booth as I was still a volunteer then, and Jolly Blackburn took the offering and didn't really look at it. Not surprising really for him, which isn't a negative commentary. He gets handed cool stuff all the time and he's more into the interaction that the "thing". Jolly hands it to me saying something like, "You want it?" 

Sure.....I take a look and it's two Grey Gamescience D20's. Fuck yeah I'll take them....I am a Gamescience dice snob after all!

Upon closer inspection there is a small piece of paper. A note with a signature. The note read, "Rubbed in the hair of a live game designer." I do not think that was a snub against Gary, but a commentary on his own situation.

I've never rolled those d20's, and I likely never will.

The Empty Chair

Eulogy for a Gamer, by Jolly Blackburn

There is an empty chair,

at the table this day.

A hallowed place where,

a friend once played.

The roll of his dice,

my ears long to hear.

Or perhaps it would suffice,

if he should suddenly appear.

With character sheet in hand,

and a bag of Cheeze-doodles to share.

All his friends would stand,

as he sat in the empty chair.

I hear his voice a-callin’,

and it ties my heart in a knot.

For he cries, “Though a comrade has fallen,

You must play for those who cannot.”

We conquered worlds on the run,

he and I in the name of fun.

And as others may come and go,

I make both both friend and foe.

But what I long for most,

is our past now long a ghost.

Dave Arneson

 October 1, 1947 – April 7, 2009

*It could have been Origins. I remember the meet, not the event.

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