The New York Times posted a thoughtful article about Gary Gygax’s contribution to geek – and therefore mass – culture (NYT login required).
I like his discussion of D&D’s effect on introvert-thinker geek types, particularly his point about how having a way to quantify personalities helps them cope with people in the real world. I, uh, totally do not identify with that.
The path in the diagram that goes through “painting pewter figurines” to “web designer” = me. It’s a cute diagram, but it assumes that all geeks are male, and don’t get me started on that. There are plenty of female geeks out there. One of my earliest D&D memories is of my mom (who is also a programmer) having her first edition thief character kill the rest of the party in their sleep so she could run away with all the treasure. My brother and I were so mad.