Gary Gygax passed away today.

As I ponder this, I have to share a simple fact — for all that I rarely play DnD (and honestly liked the original redbox rules more than the 3rd edition), that game and others written by Gary led me to some of the most enjoyable moments in my life, bar none. He was an inspiration and a muse and someone who, if nothing else, encouraged my creativity and imagination and gave me a space in which to dream.
Every day (and for the last twenty-seven years), I play games directly descended from his creations, or play around with them in my mind; he was to gaming what Tolkien was to fantasy: a recreation of the genre, a defining touchstone to which all descendants are, favorably or not, either compared or contrasted.
My family has always very supportive of whatever kind of creative activities I wanted to dive into (even when it involved hours and hours of tinkering with ‘that damn game’ in high school), but Gary was family too, of a sort; a kind of great-uncle I only spoke to via wordy, typed letters — gruff and sometimes off-putting, but the sole adult who went beyond ‘supportive’ said ‘let me show you how *I* create things.’
Appropriately, he will be mourned and missed.