Fantasy’s widow: The fight over the legacy of Dungeons & Dragons


Across the globe, Gary Gygax was eulogized everywhere from the New York Times to the Guardian, and in essays by pop fantasy titans like Wil Wheaton and Neil Gaiman. In his obituaries, Gygax was celebrated as the world’s first and greatest dungeon master, the father of role-playing and founder of a tradition that would feed the rise of blockbuster role-playing video game series like Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft and Skyrim.

Eleven years after the death of Gary Gygax, there are still battles over who will control his legacy—the rights to his name, his biography, his memorial, his intellectual property, and the future of countless other priceless artifacts, among them Gary Gygax’s original dungeon, the maps to an 11-level magical castle where he prototyped a fantasy role-playing game that 8 million people play every year.

Such a bizarre, sad story about something many of knew and loved as kids and many still love as adults.