April 9, 2009

Dave Arneson Passes Away at 61

(image credit to Lord of the Green Dragons)

Dave Arneson, co-creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons besides Gary Gygax, passed away in a hospice on April 7 shortly after 11pm. His cancer had taken a turn for the worst on April 4 when he was hospitalized and was subsequently moved to the hospice by his family for better care.

His transfer had sparked a round of false alarms from gamer blogs and forums which had prematurely announced Arneson's death.

Yesterday, an email from Arneson's family was sent to Grognardia confirming the date and time of Dave's death which was also posted on the OD&D Discussion board.

The email also mentions that the family are currently making final arrangements and are planning to hold a public visitation on April 20 at the Bradshaw Funeral Home in Minnesota.

'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.' the email said.

According to an interview with GameSpy, Dave Arneson met Gary Gygax in 1971 at GenCon who shared his interest in war gaming. Their first collaboration was a naval wargame which was published by Gygax's Guidon Games in 1971.

Since then, both of them worked closely to produce various games that would lead up to the original Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game. Dave Arneson is also known to create the first campaign setting for the game (Blackmoor) and introduced the concepts of hitpoints, armor class and dungeon crawls that are still intrinsic components of the game in its 4th edition.

Dave Arneson left the gaming industry after going separate ways from TSR and Gygax in 1981 but returned occasionally to work on smaller projects related with Blackmoor until he formed his own computer gaming company, Zeitgeist Games.

Dave Arneson went into the education field in the late 80's and became a professor in Full Sail University, Florida in Computer Documentation.

Cards, letters and other messages will be received and can be sent to the following address,
Dave Arneson
1043 Grand Avenue
Box #257
St. Paul, MN

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