10 April 2009

The other half of D&D, Dave Arneson, has died

I bring sad news. Remember last March, when Gary Gygax died? The co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, a source of fantasy love for many us (even for those of us, like me, who no longer like the game as an RPG and prefer other games)?

Well, the “co” part of “co-creator” just died. Dave Arneson has perished after a two-year fight with cancer at age sixty-one.

Arneson is the less well-known of the two men, probably because he left TSR early, in 1976. He was a hardcore table-top war-gamer, the gaming style popular through the ‘60s and ‘70s (and still today) that would eventually lead to developing Dungeons & Dragons and the table-top role-playing game. Before D&D, he developed Blackmoor, which contains many innovations that would become part of RPGing. He later filed lawsuits against TSR over royalties, and settled out-of-court with Gygax. Arneson started his own game company and continued to teach game design in this later life.

Here is the official release from Arneson’s family:
Shortly after 11pm on Tuesday, April 7th, Dave Arneson passed away. He was comfortable and with family at the time and his passing was peaceful.

The Arneson family would like to thank everyone for their support over the last few days, and for the support the entire community has shown Dave over the years.

We are in the process of making final arrangements and will provide additional details as we work them out. We will continue to receive cards and letters in Dave’s honor. We are planning to hold a public visitation so that anyone wishing to say their goodbye in person has the opportunity to do so.

Cards and letters can continue to be sent:
Dave Arneson
1043 Grand Avenue
Box #257
St. Paul, MN

Visitation will be on April 20th
Time: yet to be determined
Bradshaw Funeral Home
687 Snelling Avenue South
St. Paul, MN 55105
Not much I can say here except that Arneson, like Gygax, had an enormous impact in the development of my imagination at an early age. Enjoy Valhalla, Mr. Arneson.

I’ve already mailed a letter to the address to let his family know how much his work meant to many of us. I’m sure they already know this, but one more can’t hurt.