Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

116 Shares
116 Shares
ThuJul 27

Gary Gygax Day – July 27, 2023

Gary Gygax Day is celebrated on July 27 In honor of the co-creator who brought forth a fantasy game that still allures the world. It is also often called Dungeons & Dragons Day.

More than 30 years ago, Ernest Gary Gygax along with Dave Arneson introduced the world to fantasy table-top games, and we have been hooked ever since. It remains one of the most popular games having undergone many spin-offs and adaptations. It has paved the path for books such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Witcher.” The latter itself is an extension of a role-playing game. Gary Gygax is often called the ‘father of modern role-playing games.’

Dungeons & Dragons (also called D&D) is being re-discovered by newer audiences as the presumed nerdy game casts its spell on all.

History of Gary Gygax Day

Not everyone can say that being fired from a job was the best thing that happened to them but this is true for Gary Gygax. A high-school drop who got laid off from his job at an insurance firm decided to transform his love for fantasy war games into a career.

Earnest and Dave wrote the rules of the game which was initially named “Chainmail.” This laid the groundwork for “Dungeons & Dragons.” Cindy, Gary’s daughter, came up with the alliterative name.

The concept was initially rejected by publishers. So the first set of rulebooks was handprinted in Gary’s basement. Inevitably, the concept caught on and Gary and Dave sold the books in less than a year. About 4 years later, in 1977, Dave founded Tactical Studies Rules (T.S.R.) which later published the book.

An advanced version of the game was also released soon after. It is called “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” (A.D.&D.).

D&D has inspired many books, series, and movies both animated and otherwise. One of the initial ones was the D&D cartoon series produced by Gary Gygax himself. With many references in the latest pop culture literature, D&D is being re-discovered by the audience. “The Big Bang Theory ” and “The Stranger Things” have shown “Dungeons & Dragons” not just as merry references but rather revealing the true glory of the game.

Gary Gygax Day timeline

July 27, 1938
Father of Modern Role-Playing Gaming Was Born

Ernest Gary Gygax is born in Chicago on this day.

1971
D&D Was Born Disguised as Chainmail

The first draft of “Dungeons & Dragons” is written and is called “Chainmail” before it is renamed to its current moniker.

1977
The Wargame Upped its Level

“Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” is released with improved rules (adding more drama and consequences to the game).

2017
The Most Number of Players in History

D&D is said to have the highest number of players, with 15 to 17 million players in the U.S. alone.

Gary Gygax Day FAQs

Can you play D&D by yourself?

Absolutely! It will help you improve as a player and Dungeon Master. It can prove to be a great exploration journey. And, you will be fully prepared when you play with your mates next time.

Can I play D&D on my phone?

Yes. D&D is available as a mobile phone and P.C. games. But, if you wish to experience the classic game you will have to invite your friends over.

Is Dungeons & Dragons easy to play?

The rules are simple enough to follow as a beginner. The options are not too convoluted to confuse a new player.

Gary Gygax Day Activities

  1. Roll the dice and discover your fate

    In “Dungeons & Dragons,” the members travel through a fantasy land. You fight monsters, dragons, and ogres with your friends while pretending to be warriors and mages. Stay in and play the classic game while beating the summer heat.

  2. Make up your own adventure

    D&D allows you to build your own fantasy world around some simple guidelines. You can create your adventure with a theme that suits the occasion.

  3. Plan your visit to the next Gen Con

    Gen Con is a gaming convention held in Indianapolis. Plan your trip to the next Gen Con which is usually held in the first week of August.

5 Facts About Dungeons & Dragons

  1. $20,000 for a first-edition D&D

    In 2018, a first edition D&D was sold at an auction at $20,000.

  2. Monster manual and other manuals

    “Monster Manual,” “Monster Manual II,” and “Dungeon Master’s Handbook” are some supplementary manuals published for A.D&D.

  3. Monopoly of the 1980s

    “The New York Times” believed that D&D can be the game of the 1980s like “Monopoly” was during the Great Depression.

  4. A strain of bacteria to Gary’s name

    Gary Gygax has received many accolades owing to the huge success of his games though the most peculiar one would be to have a bacteria strain named after him, called ‘Arthronema gygaxiana sp nov UTCC393’

  5. The character names are anagrams

    Some of the names of the characters in the game are anagrams of the creator’s name, like Gryrax and Zagyg.

Why We Love Gary Gygax Day

  1. Delves into the fantasy world

    While playing “Dungeons & Dragons” (or other role-playing games), you transcend into a fantasy universe. The changing circumstances in the game and the roll of the dice creates the perfect portion of uncertainty, thrill, and allure.

  2. Meet new people

    Similar interests bring people together. Though online games are available in a plethora, D&D was created as a tabletop game. So maybe it's time to get away from this screen and play a game where one cannot mute their mics (it’s a good way to find out if someone is a sore loser).

  3. Spend a peaceful day indoors

    On a summer day, what can be better than a tall glass of lemonade and a game of D&D in the living room to escape the heat and chaotic world outside? Go on, try it out!

Gary Gygax Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 27Thursday
2024July 27Saturday
2025July 27Sunday
2026July 27Monday
2027July 27Tuesday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.