Friday, April 20, 2007

Moldvay Update

There's been some speculation that, in absence of an obit from a newspaper, that Mr. Moldvay's death may actually be a hoax. According to Jeremy, my contact, the obit he sent me was submitted to the Akron Beacon Journal. I asked him why no one could find it. Here's Jeremy's response:
I don't know that it has been printed yet. I will try to get more of the story from my boss. He said something about the tom not being found for a couple of weeks, and it being cremated before they found the family, and then some kind of disagreement/problems with the funeral home and them not authorizing the printing of the obit yet.

I honestly dont know much about it. Ive never met tom or his sister. I just know my boss Dave told me this story about his brother in law and gave me his pc to see if we could use it for something in our web dev department. I remembered he mentioned something about him writing books and games for D&D in the 80's...and then when I came across all these files and folders that looked like stories and games he had written I decided to research his name. Being a passionately creative person myself whos lifes work is experimental art and music I thought the right thing to do would be to bring his death to the attention of the community that he obviously cared for....and try to find a destination for what very well may be some of his lasts works. I can say honestly on part that it is not a hoax (read the Dragonsfoot forum posts) and I highly doubt my boss would make up this story and bring me this pc with toms names all over the settings and about 12 gigs of sci-fi fantasy games, stories, and pictures. It could be games he played from other people for all I know not being familiar with the RPG game scene. My boss said they also have boxes of manuscripts...but these I have not seen myself. I will try to get you more info as I can...when I can. And I will not reformat the data. I already backed it all up to DVD-R today. I know my boss said that someone even found a way to call his wife after the posting circulated to wish their condolences. Sorry I don’t have some kind of proof for you but I was just trying to do something good and make his scene aware of his passing.

Can you do me a favor and remove my email from any public postings. I really dont have much time to deal with "confirming" his passing. I just wanted to see the guy remembered in the scene he obviously put his life into. I have the data backed on DVDR. If you would like to speak to the family about collecting his materials and building a memorial page for non-profit I can put you in touch.
So it looks like the obit maybe was submitted just recently and hasn't appeared yet. Also, another Dragonsfoot member called Rebecca Welner (who was immortalized in the annals of D&D as the character Sister Rebecca) and is convinced that she is Tom's sister and that Tom has indeed passed away.

As much as I would like Tom Moldvay to be alive, I just don't see what would be gained by a hoax like this. I'm a big fan, as are many other old schoolers, but the guy wasn't exactly at Elvis level celebrity. And so far, no one has tried to reap any financial reward out of this situation. There's no memorial fund collecting donations, no attempt to sell anyone Tom's papers. I've fallen for more than my share of game hoaxes in recent years, but I just don't see what angle a hoaxer can be working based upon these circumstances.

On the other hand, I have no beef with anyone doubting in the absence of clear confirmation. My one request is that the skeptics remain respectful. If Tom really is dead you wouldn't want to say or do anything that would aggravate his already grieving family. Let's all be cool, okay?