International GM’s Day is celebrated on March 4 to honor and praise the incredible diligence and impartial rulings of a game master. The day falls on the death anniversary of Gary Gygax, designer and co-creator of “Dungeons & Dragon.” This superfun observation is the contribution of Spunkrat, a longtime Gaming enthusiast who dedicated an entire day to game masters in 2002. The Spirit of camaraderie and festivity swells throughout the gaming community, as gamers come together to appreciate the game masters around them.
History of International GM's Day
A game master is the main organizer of a game, who oversees the players and maintains the decorum of the game. Moderator, referee, consultant, and confidant — a game master assumes many roles and keeps the game fair, interesting, and challenging. Every player is dependent upon the game master for a chance at fair play. Winners are celebrated and losers are consoled, yet one hardly pays any attention to game masters. In 2002, gaming enthusiast Spunkrat decided to challenge the norms by dedicating an entire day to the game masters.
From classic board games to high-functioning Twitch streams, a game master is an essential part of the game. And the job isn’t so easy after all. A game master must possess complete knowledge of the proceedings of the game. Rules must roll off his or her tongue like an elementary-grade poem. International GM’s Day uplifts the game masters across the world. The celebration is backed by leading gaming outlets, including Creative Mountain Games and EN World.
The day coincidently falls on the death anniversary of the “Dungeons & Dragons” co-creator Gary Gygax, whose sudden passing sent shockwaves across the gaming community. The day is observed with zeal across the world, with players professing sincere respect and admiration for their game masters. Leading publishers utilize the day to launch special one-day discounts and schemes to rope in more people into the industry.
International GM's Day timeline
American publishers Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson launch “Dungeons & Dragons” as a fantasy tabletop role-playing game.
“Dungeons & Dragons” is mired in controversy after a student at Michigan University disappears with the intention of committing suicide after a game goes awry.
International GM’s Day commemorates the passing of “Dungeons & Dragons” co-creator, Gygax.
Nearly 20 years after its launch, the game sets a new record of nine million concurrent viewers watching the game on Twitch.
International GM's Day FAQs
What does it take to become a game master?
To be the game master, you must possess a thorough understanding of the game, along with excellent communication skills, impartial judgment, and the ability to moderate between two or more players.
Do people still play “D&D?”
“Dungeons & Dragons” continues to be one of the most popular board games in North America, with 2020 being the most successful year for the game.
What is the job of a game master?
A game master is the organizer and moderator of the game who takes the charge of creating detailed challenges, ensuring realistic continuity, and guiding the players of the game towards their common goal.
International GM's Day Activities
Play the game
“Dungeons & Dragons” is the ultimate ‘80s nostalgia trip — a game that defined much of the culture of its era. The game is still going strong, with 2020 being its best-selling year to date. On March 4, join the legions of true believers and give it a spin yourself.
Honor the game master
A game master is more than the commander of the game, he/she is also the leader of the game and sets the situations and conditions of the play. A game master’s job is one with immense responsibility, although the players hardly ever pay any dust to the very real contributions of one. Through International GM’s Day, we mark a universal proclamation of appreciation for game masters everywhere and bow our hats in their honor.
Try a new game
Hundreds of new games are launched every year. While we all want to stick to the originals and stay within our comfort zone, it is recommended to try out at least one new game a month. You may not know when you’ll find a new favorite.
5 Unbelievable Facts About Dungeons & Dragons
No “D&D” in prison
Playing the game in prison is a security threat, as players often turn aggressive and hostile.
Book of vile darkness
American gaming giant Wizards of the Coast has released a book detailing all the controversies and bad press about “D&D.”
Shows, movies, and musicals
“D&D” has featured in every genre of pop culture, including multiple shows, movies, and even a musical.
A slice of real history
A lot of elements of the game are based on true events, including the iconic dungeon trail, which is inspired by the childhood of co-creator Gary Gygax.
The terror of Myth Drannor
The 2001 Ruins of Myth Drannor release carried a glitch that would delete the system files on a player's computer upon installation.
Why We Love International GM's Day
It honors the real hero
A game master or a referee is a selfless leader who gives up his ambitions to organize and moderate the game. They lead the discussions, pass impartial decisions, and command the room while taking the sidelines. International GM’s Day honors the very real contributions of a game master and urges the community to look out for our referees.
It celebrates Gygax’s legacy
“D&D” continues to gain unprecedented popularity, even in the face of modern technology and new-age games. The day celebrates the game master, the game, and its creator for filling our childhood with epic memories and making a leader out of every game master.
It’s a celebration across the gaming community
International GM’s Day is one of the few holidays observed by a community that prides itself on its anti-social status. Publishers and retailers cash in on the excitement with sales and discounts, and legions of fans raise their joysticks in honor of the day.
International GM's Day dates