Origins 2007: Steve Jackson

I met Steve Jackson under strange circumstances. I’d seen him around the convention a couple of times, especially in or near the SJ Games booth in the dealer room, but being a shy person I didn’t go up to him and say “Hey, GURPS is still one of my favorite systems for any setting, and for years it was the only system I used, and I think your supplements are in many cases second to none”…and so on.

But it turned out that he was hosting a seminar during a time that I was available. The seminar was on…cryonics. Weird, right? I go into the room, and there are only two other people there. And then we have this very weird conversation. In brief, Steve Jackson has paid a large sum of money so that when he dies, he will be frozen by a certain company, to be thawed out at a future date when whatever it is he died of is no longer a problem and when the technology to bring someone out of deep-freeze is developed.

I have to say – Steve Jackson is an intelligent guy who is a classic geek. Not a stirring speaker – more like a guy you’d meet at your local gaming store who’s always there and always talking about the latest min-max scheme to make his character invincible. He was clearly tired as well at this point in the convention.

It was exciting nonetheless to meet him – for a long time almost all of the gaming books on my shelves were GURPS books (and I’ve noticed that my international readers often check out my Eberron GURPS conversion rules).

As a side note, Munchkin Impossible beat out my pick, High School Drama, for the Origins Award for Best Non-Collectible Card Game, by a single vote. (Unlike in our national politics, the popular vote at Origins actually matters!) High School Drama is the first game written by a local from this area named Boyen, and I recommend it very highly. Looking through the game and seeing Boyen demo it a few times, I would have bought it if I wasn’t absolutely broke. There’s certainly no dishonor to losing to Munchkin, however, especially for someone’s first published game. I look forward to seeing what Shifting Skies Press has coming up next – I know Boyen is working on his second game as I type, so stay tuned.

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