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There's a really good obituary of Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, at the NY Times. The author, an editor at Wired, connects Gygax' role-playing inventions with the electronic avatars of web 2.0. According to his argument, Facebook and MySpace are cast in the templates of tabletop character sheets. I have to say it's a surprisingly convincing argument. There always did seem to be an unusually strong link between early and powerful internet adopters and sci-fi and roleplaying fandom. Maybe that's the reason. I never really thought of that before.

The article is also noteworthy for the flowchart illustration (click "enlarge this image" to see it). To someone like me, who spent too much time playing AD&D and reading William Gibson in his teens, that flowchart is funny and eerily accurate.

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