Gary Gygax, the colorful creator of the original Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game, has died at age 69. Gygax has been in poor health for several years, suffering from heart problems and an aneurysm. The exact cause of death has not been released. Gygax is survived by his wife, Gail.
Gygax spent many years as a game developer and entrepreneur, developing new roleplaying games and writing fantasy novels, among other projects. He was always best known for his role in creating Dungeons and Dragons, a tabletop pen-and-pencil roleplaying game that has attracted millions of players since its creation in 1974. Along with co-creator Dave Arneson and other figures from the early gaming years (many of whose characters have achieved immortality in the game universe through having spells or items named after them), Gygax made Dungeons and Dragons into the standard for fantasy roleplaying.
In my personal life, D&D was the springboard that led me into a life of enjoying gaming as a hobby. I cannot count the friends and associates who have enriched my life, people I would not have met were it not for the gaming hobby and most especially the roleplaying game at its center. Few men add as much to human happiness as Gary Gygax’ games and adventures did. RIP, Gary Gygax. Enjoy the Elysian Fields, and may your Handy Haversack never be too full for your mountain of gems.