Richard Garriott de Cayeux is a founding father of both the video game industry and commercial human spaceflight industry. He has been inducted into the computer gaming hall of fame and has received the industry lifetime achievement award. He is the originator of the massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) genre through his pioneering Ultima series, and created the now ubiquitous term “avatar” for one’s virtual self. He has built three leading gaming companies: Origin Systems, Destination Games, and Portalarium.
Garriott is also a principal shaper of commercial human spaceflight, as the cofounder of the X Prize, which brought suborbital space vehicles into existence and Space Adventures, the only company to arrange space flights for private citizens. He also became the first second-generation American in space when he blasted off on Soyuz TMA-13 for a 10-day mission aboard the International Space Station in 2008. In his 2017 book “Explore/Create,” he asserts that true innovation in a field is often best inspired by exploring far beyond.