December 8, 2016
A Tribute to Joe Dever
We at 4th Wall Games were deeply saddened when we learned of the passing of Joe Dever last week. For myself in particular, Mr. Dever’s work was a true inspiration. I was already a fan of Choose Your Own Adventure by first grade, but when I discovered Lone Wolf in fourth grade it opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities in storytelling and gaming. It was also my gateway into tabletop roleplaying games.
Perhaps most importantly, the works of Joe Dever helped instill in me a love of books. I already enjoyed doing some reading, but once I discovered Lone Wolf I simultaneously discovered the immersive power of a book and the joy of losing myself amongst its pages and words. Within years I had devoured many books — not just gamebooks — and was well on my way to becoming a reader, writer, and all-around bookworm. I still have fond memories of a couple of Tulsa’s local bookstores that I frequented in my childhood, The Dusty Bookworm and Novel Idea, where I would, on the most exciting of all days, experience the thrill of discovering a new Lone Wolf book on a cluttered shelf. Nowadays, my favorite place to spend a Friday night is Austin’s local used bookstore (Half Price Books) because it still brings back the thrill of that treasure hunt. I never walk out of the bookstore without a book or two, and today I have a home library with over 2000 books. Not only do I owe Joe Dever for my interest in gamebooks, but in many ways I feel I owe him for my love of books in general.
On the same day that we learned Mr. Dever passed away, Jeremy successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation. For us at 4th Wall Games, Jeremy’s graduation was an important milestone in launching our company and paving the way for us both to dive into development on Harrowing Adventures. With the close of one chapter, perhaps another chapter began on the same day.
4th Wall Games — in spirit and in reality — wouldn’t exist without Joe Dever’s influence. And it is our sincere hope that 4th Wall Games might, at least in our wildest dreams, endeavor to continue in Mr. Dever’s example of delivering entertaining interactive stories to readers of all ages around the world.
If I could have even a tiny fraction of the level of impact on peoples’ lives that Joe Dever had on my own — to help instill a love for reading — I would consider that a worthwhile purpose. It is my hope that Harrowing Adventures and future products by 4th Wall Games might somehow follow in the giant footsteps that have been left by Mr. Dever.
Joe Dever, you will be deeply missed, but the impact of your imagination and your generosity to your fans will always live on!
In part 2 of this blog series I will talk about my specific and personal memories regarding Lone Wolf, such as my first reading experience, the order and manner in which I discovered the books, etc.
In part 3 of this blog series I will discuss the book series as a whole, including some of its strengths and weaknesses.
And in part 4 of this blog series I will talk about the individual books in the series, which ones were my favorites, some of my favorite scenes, and why.
Please stay tuned!