About a year ago I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the FBI's files on TSR, Inc., the company that originally published the iconic Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.
I received several dozen pages of records back on Wednesday, including a May 1995 FBI report that contained several paragraphs on Gary Gygax, the game's beloved creator. D&D may have been the summit of nerd culture in the '80s, but the FBI makes Gygax sound hardcore.
An FBI source in the report alleges that Gygax was "eccentric and frightening," carried a weapon, proudly responded to every letter he received from an inmate, and had a Liberian holding company. It concludes: "He is known to be a member of the Libertarian Party."
Check it out:
In short, Gary Gygax wasn't a snitch and fought the power. When Gygax died in 2008, one of his many fans, the San Francisco artist Chicken John Rinaldi, wrote in an email to Reason eulogizing the original dungeon master:
Gary Gygax saved more lives than penicillin. When I was 10, he was 39. He knew he was writing a book for 10 year olds...but never talked down to us. He was the only adult presence in my life from the time I was 10 to the time I was like 15 that didn't preach, didn't talk down and didn't have any parameters.
Photo Credit: Alan De Smet