Zak always seemed to be in a swirl of controversy and on-line fights. I had some interest in finding out what it was all about, but honestly, anytime I started to pull a thread and figure out what was going on, it turned out to appear so large and chaotic I became exhausted and lost interest. Perhaps I should have dug more - but he was just some dude on the internet - a dude who bought two shirts from me. I only ever sold two 'Old School Rocks' shirts - and he was the purchaser. That little thing nudged me more on his side, and caused me to ignore some really weird behavior from him - i.e. - the fact that sometimes when someone he didn't like would reply to one of my G+ posts, he would send me a private message pointing out that the guy was scumbag and was evil because of x and y and z, etc, etc. While that caused me some confusion and concern, I didn't think about it too much. Shame on me. It seems so obvious now.
As I mentioned in a post from 2011, "I Hit It With My Axe" was what led me to the OSR - revisiting previous styles of RPG play, and even starting this blog. Up until yesterday I would have credited Zak with inspiring that, but thinking back, the bulk of the inspiration was really Mandy, Connie, Satine, and Frankie. As a DM, I think I give DMs too much credit for great games. And as a man, I probably give men too much credit as well. Really, those ladies and their crazy-fun role-playing were what made that show, and were the ones who gave me the impetus to retrace my gaming roots and rediscover myself.
I applaud Mandy for her bravery and thank her for being an inspiration to me - even if I hadn't quite figured that out until just now. Here is her statement from Facebook.