Day 11 - Which gamer most affected the way you play?
This one's easy, but sad. There are two gamers who affected me the most in terms of gaming.
First off, there's David Fisher ("Fish" to his good friends, and I was counted among them). Fish died September 17th, 2006 of complications of triple bypass surgery. I first met Fish in 1970, as he was the one who introduced me to roleplaying games. We first met in school (and later at the CEGEP that I attended in Montréal). A small group of us would get together and play a game that one of the folks called "Laertia." It was a world and a set of rules that Dave had created, since he was fond of a set of sf and fantasy books that he had read once, and he wanted to play in that world. In 1974, David picked up and showed me a copy of the game that later became the major fantasy rpg of the day, Chainmail. I was hooked. I started to run the game shortly after, but switched to the Dungeons é Dragons game when it came out in late 1974 or early 1975. If not for Dave Fisher, I would probably have discovered roleplaying games much later than I did, if I ever did. But that wasn't all: Watching Fish runnning the games he ran taught me what I learned of GMing and some of the basic ethics of running rpgs, and I'll always be in his debt for that. So thanks, Fish. :)
Secondly, my friend Steve Bauer. SteveB died on March 11th, 2011 of a heart attack induced by some of the medication he was taking for his diabetes. He was a Type 1 diabetic, and this is more common than some folks might think. I first met SteveB when he joined the gaming group that I was running back in 1980 or thereabouts. I gamed with SteveB from that time until just before his death in 2011, and there were good times and bad times. It was SteveB who gave me the advice to realise what good GMing was all about, but he also showed me and taught me what it takes to be a good gamer, and most important to remember that it's just a game. A life lesson that, at the time, was one of the most valuable I learned as a gamer at the age of 28.
So "Thanks", Fish and SteveB. And I'll never forget you both. :)