The death of David A. Trampier, a wonderful illustrator of D&D and some other games from the mid-70s to 1988, has been reported. A lot of blogs started posting brief RIPs and a few pictures as tributes, which is fitting. Now I am noticing that there is some kind of race to report more details as quickly as possible, be the first kid in your webring to post the news, and other star-effing. One blogger who is probably well-intentioned has started digging into the details of Trampier’s funeral arrangements and encouraging gamers to crash what has already been communicated to him to be a private event. What.The.Fuck?
For whatever reason — and now is not really the time to get to the bottom of it — Trampier wanted out of the “gaming community” and politely refused requests for interviews etc. for the last decade. Apparently his mounting medical bills did convince him to consider publishing and/or making appearances shortly before his death. Still, I think the gaming community needs to back the fuck off.
If you did not know the man personally, you don’t need to be crashing this funeral. You can sign the online guestbook if you need to let his family know how much you loved his art. Hordes of strangers (especially the unwashed masses of gamers) showing up at a private funeral for a man who wanted no attention (or anything at all to do with the general public gamers really) — hordes of gamers showing up at his funeral would be in incredibly bad taste. The cynic in me suspects all the gushing about going to the funeral is just online braggadocio and trying to be grognarder-than-thou. I will try to be more charitable and assume it is just talk coming from a real sense of vicarious loss. Yes, all of us who loved D&D in the 70s and 80s, or appreciate the classics now, can feel a sense of loss at his passing, and as humans of course we can feel sorry for the family’s loss. But imposing ourselves on DAT’s grieving family & friends does not honor him nor respect his or their wishes for privacy.