Time Machine 2018: Richard Garriott de Cayeux, the “Game God”
As Time Machine 2018 approaches, we’re pleased to highlight some of the global executives, cultural innovators, and industry trailblazers who will be speaking at the conference.
Many people have unfulfilled childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut or a leading video game developer. Richard Garriott de Cayeux is both.
Garriott started developing video games when he convinced his high school to let him pioneer a self-directed programming course on the school’s teletype machine. His innovation didn’t stop there, as he went on to create the immense Ultima series, which spans over 10 games. With the development of Ultima Online, he helped found a whole genre of video games, coining the term massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG.
Besides his extensive video game design career, Garriott is a pioneer in space travel. He was the sixth-ever private astronaut with Space Adventures and one of the second second-generation astronauts (his father, Owen K. Garriott, was on the Skylab 3 mission in 1973).
While aboard the International Space Station, Garriott used amateur radio to communicate with British students, and he made educational videos explaining concepts students were learning related to physics. Perhaps most unusual of his spaceflight accomplishments was placing a geocache aboard the ISS and officiating the first-ever wedding held in zero gravity.
Garriott has been recognized for his accomplishments both game developer and an astronaut. PC Gamer honored him as “Designer of the Year,” later going on to dub him the “Game God.” The British Interplanetary Society awarded him the Sir Arthur Clarke award for notable contributions to space exploration.
If there’s one thing that can be said to encompass Garriott’s wide-ranging career, it’s that he has always been ahead of his time. It is exactly that kind of vision we need to help unravel the incredible creative potential of AI in the future ahead.
Want to hear from the private astronaut in person? Register now for Time Machine 2018.