The Human Element

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Space Quest Creators (pic) Meet the genius masterminds behind the Space Quest (with Roger Wilco) series.  *psssst!* Hey, buddy - you've got something nasty on your face!  

Those pig snouts look like something off Fear FactorRectum?  Damn near killed em!  HAW HAW HAW!

You can click on the picture to make it larger - get a better view of their crazy get up.  See, if you create a game about a space janitor...  Well, I've got to stop there, because the entire concept of cleaning space is a bit too deep for a Saturday.  If I dare attempt to comprehend it, I'm sure I'll go MAD.  

I wrote a deep and meaningful letter (two paragraphs) to Sierra in 1991, explaining that I was a huge fan of the Space Quest series (I WAS), and that I'd really like some autographed pictures (I DID).  Seriously, some people bug comic book creators, some people mail their prized baseball cards to probable drug addicts like Daryll Strawberry.  Personally, I wanted to be a geek,  I loved campy "Naked Gun" style humor.  Well, campy Naked Gun type humor, minus the knife-wielding, lady-killing psychopath. 

I sent the letter out, not really expecting any kind of response.  After all, Space Quest was one of the top selling, funniest, and most consistent series going.  Space Quest IV was just the pinnacle of Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy's efforts at Sierra.  And that's exactly when I wrote my letter.  On November 20, 1991, they sent their reply.  Ken Williams, one of the founders of Sierra Online was kind enough to not only send along his words and autograph, but the picture you see from Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy.

Ken Williams (pic)It was a terrific thrill getting these pictures in the mail - a real fan boy's dream.  I'd imagine that it's not too hard to become an Autograph Collector in the world of games (except where overseas shipping is concerned). If you have any video game creator's autographs, let me know - I'll post scans of them RIGHT HERE, on the front page.  For those of you collecting older systems, think about it: these folks have poured part of their lives into these games.  With the cruelty of time, the longer you wait, the less likely you'll be to make contact with a great mind.  Sounds corny, doesn't it?  But that's exactly why I built this spot on the Net.

Far too often, we get obsessed with collection of objects, and forget the why and how they got into our hands.  While we can reminisce all we want about our own memories attached to a game, I often find myself taking a step back, and wondering about the people behind the game.  They filled their heads with "useful" information, like optimization tricks for processors that didn't have enough logic circuits to operate today's remote controls.  And the designers and programmers today - do they sit at the edge of their cubes, wishing that the bureaucracy would cease for just a minute so that they could get some meaningful work done?  Do they think about games when they get home, or do they collapse in a pile, thankful for a wife/husband that loves them?  ...Unlike the gaming public and press that'll eat their game alive!

So, who makes your games?

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