You know, I'm a gamer. My first memory of gaming was my mother playing with her friends in the basement. I wasn't old enough to game at the time, but I was old enough to page through the Monster Manual and look through the pictures. Later, the AD&D books were one of the first ones I've read while killing time, just browsing through the books and looking at the black and white pictures and reading all the stats. My first character was when I was seven, Jok the Mage, who proved why you should never, ever, ever give a seven year old player an unlimited charged wand of wonder.
But, I found out today that Gary Gygax died. He was one of those people that I always wanted to meet, mainly because he helped create probably the most influential game system I've ever played. AD&D was part of why I became a writer, and a gamer. I gamed because it was something that brought me closer to my mother, and for my brother for a short period of time, and it was a game I spent the hours enjoying.
So, hats off and Blessed Be, Gary.