Tomorrow is Here

Lord British is Going Into Space

by on Apr.14, 2008, under Near Earth, People

Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott, the 46-year-old creator of the Ultima series of computer games, will become the world’s sixth space tourist in Oct. 2008. It has cost him a cool US$30 million to join that select few.

Garriott was born in Cambridge, England on Jul. 4, 1961. His father was astronaut Owen, would later fly aboard Skylab and the Space Shuttle.

Raised in Nassau Bay, Texas, Garriott attended Clear Creek High School. He acquired the nickname “Lord British” there, from students who though he spoke with a British accent.

Whilst at Clear Creek, Garriott developed an interest in computers and programming computer games. He gave away his early efforts free to friends. He published his first game “Akalabeth” in the summer of 1980. This paid for his college fess at the University of Texas at Austin, which he joined later that year.

During the early 80s, Garriott developed the hugely successful Ultima series of games under the pseudonym Lord British. At first, California Pacific Computers then Sierra On-Line, published the Ultima games. For the third instalment, Garriott set up Origin Systems with his father, brother and others to publish and distribute the game. He sold Origin to Electronic Arts in Sep. 1992.

Garriott is currently living in Austin, Texas at the Ultima inspired, Britannia Manor. Features include secret passages, a dungeon and an observatory. Garriott keeps his many collections of rare artefacts here.

As well as a successful programmer and entrepreneur, Garriott is a keen explorer, being a member of Explorer’s Club. He has dived on the Titanic and collected meteorites in the Antarctic.

Garriott acted as corner man for friend, professional boxer, Jesus Chavez. He is also a keen amateur magician, having appeared on the cover of MUM, the magazine of the Society of American Magicians in Jan. 2008. Garriott is vice-chairman of the board of directors of Space Adventures.

In Oct. 2008, Garriott is scheduled to fly aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-13 to the International Space Station. His web site quotes him as follows:

“I am dedicating my spaceflight to science and enterprise. We need to be adventurous in mind and stimulate our intellects to answer today’s most daunting scientific questions and to invent tomorrow’s technological marvels. We need more than great ideas – we need to make them happen.”

*Picture by Hachimaki posted under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license to Flickr

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