This is an odd one for me -- depending on how you look at it, I was in the RPG world for many years, but not of it, or of it, but not in it. Most of my friends are gamers, some of them quite hardcore for years. When I was a teenager, I wrote a paper RPG. (In retrospect, it seems as though what I was reaching for -- completely independently of anything, since I didn't know the people involved and they didn't know me, and there was a lapse of several years involved -- was what someone else eventually wrote as Vampire: The Masquerade, although what I came up with was closer to GURPS and, admittedly, ultimately unplayable. At least I got class credit for it.) I had a front-page entry in the Daily Illuminator (under the name of the person whose e-mail I was borrowing at the time, since I didn't have one of my own -- scroll down to October 2). I even owned a set of dice. (I've since given them away.)
However... Aside from a few abortive attempts at LARPing in the mid-90s, I've never actually played a pen-and-paper RPG.
However again, if it hadn't been for the RPG culture, in which I was at least an interested bystander if not an out-and-out participant, I never would have become the (geeky-but-at-home-with-it) person I am today.
So I owe one to Gary Gygax. Thanks, man. I've never even played your game, but you still changed my life.