Written by Sunny

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott, a name synonymous with innovation in the gaming industry, has led a life filled with adventure, both on Earth and beyond. Here are 16 captivating facts about this multifaceted individual.

Table of Contents

British Born, American Raised

Richard Allen Garriott was born on July 4, 1961, in Cambridge, England. Although he spent most of his life in the United States, he holds dual citizenship for both countries.

Gaming Prodigy

Garriott’s journey into the world of computer games began in high school. By his own estimation, he crafted 28 fantasy computer games during this period.

Lord British

One of Garriott’s gaming pseudonyms is “British,” a nod to his birthplace. This moniker has appeared in various gaming characters, including the renowned Ultima character, Lord British.

Ultima Series Creator

Garriott is the mastermind behind the influential Ultima game series. He was actively involved in all the games in this series, which played a pivotal role in establishing the computer role-playing game genre.

Space Adventures

In 2008, Garriott embarked on a journey to the International Space Station as a private astronaut. He became the first American and the second person globally to follow in a parent’s footsteps into space. His father, Owen Garriott, was a NASA astronaut.

Film in Space

During his time on the International Space Station, Garriott filmed “Apogee of Fear,” the first-ever fictional movie shot entirely in space.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Beyond gaming, Garriott founded the video game development company Portalarium in 2009. He was also the CEO of Portalarium and the creative director of “Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.

Space Enthusiast

Garriott’s passion for space isn’t just limited to his personal journey. He covertly took a portion of Star Trek actor James Doohan’s ashes to the ISS, which remained a secret until 2020.

Private Astronaut

Garriott’s dream of space travel was so intense that he underwent surgery to remove a hemangioma from his liver, a condition that could have jeopardized his space journey.

Explorer at Heart

In 2021, Garriott ventured to the Mariana Trench’s depths, the planet’s deepest oceanic trench. This made him the record holder for both altitude and depth explorations.

Champion of Education

Garriott has been involved in various educational outreach programs. He collaborated with the Windows on Earth project, providing an interactive view of Earth as seen from the ISS.

A Man of Many Talents

Garriott’s interests aren’t limited to space and gaming. He has been involved in creating haunted houses, promoting private space flight, and even participating in the first zero-gravity wedding.

Awards and Recognitions

Garriott’s contributions to the gaming industry and space exploration have earned him numerous accolades, including the AIAS Hall of Fame Award and the British Interplanetary Society’s Sir Arthur Clarke Award.

Legacy in Literature

Garriott’s life and achievements served as inspiration for the character James Halliday in Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One.”

Astronaut Legacy

Garriott’s father, Owen K. Garriott, was one of NASA’s first scientist-astronauts, making their family one of the few with multiple generations of space travelers.

A Life Well-Lived

Garriott’s memoir, “Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark,” offers an in-depth look into his life, achievements, and the challenges he faced along the way.

Final Word

Richard Garriott’s life is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and relentless pursuit of one’s dreams. Whether it’s the virtual realms of gaming or the vast expanse of space, Garriott has left an indelible mark, inspiring countless individuals worldwide.

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