Thursday, 9 May 2013

On the Passing of a Genius

Ray Harryhausen passed away recently at the age of 92.

There are a lot of things I could say about his work.  In many ways, the films of Ray Harryhausen are as influential in my personal conception of the game as any of the Appendix N authors.  Whether it was work in the Sinbad movies, the various films based off Greek mythology, Jules Verne's novels put to film, or a host of others, Ray Harryhausen's work had a sense of depth and character that all-too-often computer animation - although spectacular - fails to capture.

Like the early Hammer Horror films, Ray Harryhausen's work had a far-reaching impact on generations that is difficult to overestimate.  Certainly, it had influence on fantasy works like David Drake's Lord of the Isles series.  Even more certainly, it had a strong influence on the creation of Dungeons & Dragons and the early role-playing game scene.

I don't have the words or the skill to properly memorialise the man.  But I do know that, directly or indirectly, his pioneering vision will influence generations to come.

Rest in peace, Ray.


  1. I love Harryhausen's movies. Back in the day they were the best special effects money could buy. I think as a D&D player, the one big thing Ray's creations did for me was he showed just how awesome monsters could be. Seeing his cyclops or giant scorpions on screen made me want to make them awesome in my games. If I had an opportunity to do a movie involving dragon turtles, owlbears and beholders, they would move around in a stop-motion animation way.

  2. Golden Voyage was one of the most important sources of inspiration for me when I took up fantasy roleplaying games.


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