As I mentioned in my review of The Hobbit, I never read any of Tolkien's books. In fact, outside of the first three Dragonlance novels, I never really read any fantasy fiction. Most of my exposure to fantasy came from television and movies. Thundarr the Barbarian, Beastmaster, Willow, those were the stories that I looked to for fantasy adventure. I got into D&D around the same time The Legend of Zelda came out for the NES. Not surprisingly, my first attempt at being a Dungeon Master involved trying to recreate the dungeons of that game.
It's one of those things that has left me feeling a bit excluded from the 'OSR' as it were. I know Conan The Barbarian from the Schwarzenegger films, while most other gamers have read Robert E. Howard's books. My exposure to Lovecraft came from an episode of The Real Ghostbusters. And frankly, I am more likely to quite season one of The Transformers than The Silmarillion. In fact I am more of a fan of science fiction than fantasy, despite my love for fantasy role-playing games. And I find myself looking to film and television more and more for ideas than the written works of my contemporaries.
So here's the question I have for everyone. Am I the only person like this? Am I the only one that looks at Ocean's Eleven and sees it as a Shadowrun campaign? Or wants to port the plot of Alien to a galleon on the high seas in D&D? Am I the only one that developed FASERIP stats for Optimus Prime? Heck, I'm running a play-by-post game inspired by a show on The Discovery Channel for crying out loud!
And in the future, as communications technology allows more and more people to develop their own creative worlds, what will the next step in creative inspiration come from?