As reported here, Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, has passed away at age 69.
The man's contributions to my own interest in fantasy literature are difficult to describe. Though it's been years since I've played, D&D coupled with some specific fantasy books really formed the foundation for my interest in the genre. His contributions will be missed.
2008-03-05 - Update: Go here for a more thoughtful remembrance than I could ever provide.
2008-03-12 - Update:
I continue to come across interesting stories and views on the death of the Dungeon Master. Thought I would share some of them along with some highlights:
"I now know the reasons why I needed to escape into Dungeons & Dragons. I haven't played for decades, but my lingering attraction to these fantasy realms leaves me dissatisfied with reality. Simple pursuits - folding laundry, mowing the lawn, "Sopranos" reruns - seem dull by comparison to the exploits of that parallel me in a faraway land."
"Dungeons & Dragons was a brilliant pastiche, mashing together tabletop war games, the Conan-the-Barbarian tales of Robert E. Howard and a magic trick from the fantasy writer Jack Vance with a dash of Bulfinch’s mythology, a bit of the Bible and a heaping helping of J. R. R. Tolkien."
*** The whole scoop on the game and history of Dungeons and Dragons. Highly recommended reading.