Luke Gygax running a game of Dungeons & Dragons at Gary Con

Luke Gygax talks about growing up Gygax, and Gary Con

Luke Gygax gives a peek at what it was like to grow up as one of the children of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons. This is one of several videos that came out of a visit to Gary Con by the fine folks at Retro Report. I was happy to introduce them to the convention last year, and they’ve done a spectacular job with the footage they shot. Be sure to watch for cameos from Ernie Gygax, Tim Kask, and even a portable Royal typewriter like the one Gary used, supplied by Paul Stormberg of The Collector’s Trove.

Transcript of Luke’s interview:

“My upbringing was different, especially for Wisconsin. I didn’t really care when deer hunting season was.

Growing up around Dungeons & Dragons was normal — I don’t really have a perspective of not growing up that way. My dad was busy a lot, but I got a lot of socializing time with him through gaming. He would be writing materials and we would playtest them, so folks would come over, and we’d game.

My dad was pretty minimalist in his dungeon mastering style. A lot of guys today will use a lot of props and mapping devices and miniatures and stuff like that — we rarely used any of that sort of stuff. It was really in your mind.

He wanted you to think, and your player would benefit from you being clever and figuring out different ideas and things to do.

Certainly, my English and vocabulary were greatly improved by my dad’s writing. His writing style, they call it ‘Gygaxian’ style, because he was circumlocutious and would use… big college words on purpose. He wanted people to pick up a thesaurus and learn a word. He thought the English language was beautiful, and there’s no reason to limit yourself to a small set of verbs or adjectives.

When you’re amongst folks who understand what you’re talking about and they don’t think you’re unusual, you can be more open and friendly. That’s what we try to do here (at Gary Con). It’s a fond remembrance for me, and I think a lot of other people, too.”

The next Gary Con will be March 23-26th, 2017, in Lake Geneva, WI. The site is at

Retro Report | Growing up Gygax

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  1. Avatar
    Timothy Connolly

    This article is a delight. Having gotten to know Luke a little bit, and having had the opportunity to collaborate together with Luke on some of the design for our 1e AD&D sandbox on Long Island, I can honestly say that he is a credit to the genre, and I sure do hope to actively participate (as a player) in his own Okorrim sessions one of these days.

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