Years ago Grognardia discussed Dragonlance, and its effects. I'm not going to go over the same ground. I am going to call it an Event. The W-H Event.
One of the players in my group, K, is a player who loves nothing more than to really get into character, and while in character explore exactly what being that character means. K has great role-playing chops, and like a lot of us has been at it for over twenty years. Having K in a game that has is going to focus on role-playing is a boon, and K loves a good story.
There is no coincidence that K began gaming after the Event.
The Event eventually spelled the death of a lot of the OSR style of play. But was that a bad thing?
Somewhere between the Caves of Chaos and the Tomb of Horrors something went wrong. The Caves of Chaos could be dangerous, we all have stories of the 1st lvl characters we lost there. My friends and I remember far too many DMs who viewed Tomb of Horrors as a tutorial. They made dungeons that killed parties dead.
Maybe it's a bad stat based on small sample size. Or maybe not. And it certainly is anecdotal. But it sure is my experience.
One thing the W-H Event did? It trained a generation of DMs that the point wasn't to kill the characters. Maybe it was to tell a story. Maybe not. And people could die in the story, or not. But the dying wasn't the goal of the game.
As I re-explore the new games built from the old games, like ACKS and DCC RPG, part of that process is not actually seeking a return to those roots. That lethality can remain, character mortality can exist, but it should never have become the point.