Gary Gygax

Who would make up the faces of a Geeky Mount Rushmore?

For reference, Mount Rushmore is a federal park in which American presidents are carved out of the face of a mountain. When people who aren’t from America ask me about it, I tell them this landmark exists and all the stereotypes they have about Americans begin to make sense.

Anyway, as a fun nerd pastime, we geeks occasionally try to name four luminaries from various walks of life and call it the Mount Rushmore of whatever topic we happen to be discussing. Obviously, you could make a Mount Rushmore of anything.

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For hockey, it would be Gretzky, Howe, Orr, and Maurice Richard. For baseball… I don’t care because I don’t follow baseball but I am sure there are at least four people who deserve mentioning. I suppose Babe Ruth would be up there. Regardless, it is just something I do occasionally to pass the time.

After picking the Mount Rushmore of 80s action heroes the other day (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Chuck Norris), I thought about who would be on the geeky Mount Rushmore. It’s a hard one to figure out in my opinion because there are so many ways you could look at it.

I think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have to be there, what with them being two of the most influential men of the modern era. The other two? That’s debatable.

One could easily pick Stan Lee. He is credited with the creation of several of marvel’s biggest properties. And why is that a big deal, you might ask. Well, despite my theory of a comic book overdose on the horizon, comic properties are big business. Take a look at upcoming TV season. Comic book properties are popping up on major networks and several streaming services, new and old, and such properties have taken over Hollywood box offices like action movies in the 80s.

You could also make an argument for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter Books. While the movies aren’t exactly earth shattering in terms of cultural phenomena, those books are adored by a couple of generations. A better argument could be made for JR.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books.

Personally, my remaining two spots are saved for Shigeru Miyamoto and Gary Gygax. Miyamoto is the creative guru behind Nintendo and is responsible for Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda. Miyamoto’s properties helped turn what was a stagnant industry into a billion dollar cash cow. Gygax is the co-creator and main force behind Dungeons and Dragons.

You could say Tolkien deserves this spot more but I say nay and I will tell you why. This is a geeky Mount Rushmore, not an author of influential books Mount Rushmore, and I feel D’n’D has more cultural association when it comes to geekiness than Tolkien. When you hear the word geek, you think of certain things like comics, protractors and video games. Books, I think, are considered nerdy on their own but D’n’D and other table top role playing games bear the mark (some would say stigma) of being uber geeky. Like a toll beats and orc, Gygax beats Tolkien, at least in this instance.

Anyway, those are my picks. Feel free to make your own… just be aware that I don’t care about your picks. If they are different than mine, they are wrong and if they are the same as mine, there is no need for further discussion. In short, please leave me alone.

I’m done now.

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Antigonish native Matt Draper has been a photographer, reporter and columnist for The Reporter since 2003.