From the time I woke up this morning, a lot of the forums I frequent (such as that is, anyway) were awash in first the rumor, then the confirmation, that Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons and therefore much of the roleplaying hobby, has passed away at the age of 69.
Like many of my generation, D&D was the gaming gateway. It's what put me in a place to exercise my creativity with these games, whether D&D or something else, like Traveller or Star Frontiers or whatever. My hobby led me to many of my friends. It even led me to the Arcadian Gate idea, because that itself was originally a background I did up for a Mutants and Masterminds game. And although I'd like to think RPGs would have developed anyway with Dave Arneson working at it, Gygax was still highly instrumental and without Chainmail, in which Gygax had a role instead of Arneson, maybe it wouldn't have happened. I don't know, but it scarcely bears thinking about.
But it's thanks to Gygax that I've enjoyed these many years of gaming fun.