Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons along with the late Gary Gygax, passed away today at the age of 61. Gygax himself died last year, at which time I wrote about the cultural significance of of D&D for my generation of academics and intellectuals. Arneson's role in the development of D&D was less well-known than that of the more famous Gygax. But it was he who introduced many of the crucial elements of character role-playing.
Unfortunately, Gygax and Arneson had a falling out in the late 1970s after a legal dispute over the intellectual property rights to their joint creation. However, both deserve to be remembered for their outstanding achievement in creating the world's most successful roleplaying game and for its positive influence on an entire generation of intellectually-oriented young people.