It's a sad day as we learned Gary Gygax passed away. We learned first from his friends at Troll Lord Games, who posted to game boards and later it was picked up by the national press. I was glad to see the press consider his passing of importance.
My feelings on the subject are much like other industry people. I owe him a lot and I wouldn't be in this field without his influence. Gary Gygax, through Dungeons & Dragons has greatly influenced my life. All of my friends from junior high school and high school are from my D&D group. We still keep in touch. I think the game helped get me into college, both by focusing me on more imaginative and intellectual pursuits and putting me with a college bound crowd that had such aspirations. How many teenagers know what a portcullis or a brazier is? How many memorized books to impress their friends?
While other "gamers" dabble with a variety of games, Dungeons & Dragons has always been my game. Other games I've learned learned while running the store fall under the category of "professional development." I enjoy a variety of different types of games, but the only one I'm willing to carve out my free time for is Dungeons & Dragons. That's all about Gary Gygax, along with the unsung hero of D&D, co-creator Dave Arneson.