Steve Jackson

Gaming Guest of Honor

Steve Jackson has been playing games for nearly 50 years, and designing them since 1976. He graduated from Rice University, where a lot of his time went to wargames and the school paper (he spent two years as editor). Now he’s a writer and game publisher, proving that college can be very valuable if you don’t let classes get in your way.

His first published game was Ogre, released in 1977 by Metagaming. He designed and edited several other games for that company, including Melee and Wizard, before forming Steve Jackson Games in 1980. An early release, Car Wars, became an instant hit, but not the last. It was followed by Illuminati, in which players build conspiracies to take over the world. Later came GURPS, the “Generic Universal Roleplaying System.”

In 1983, Steve was elected to the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame. He has received 12 Origins Awards, as well as various other honors, for game design.

In 1990 and 1991, Steve became the “poster child for electronic freedom” after the Secret Service’s invasion of his office and confiscation of equipment and manuscripts. SJ Games filed suit against the Secret Service and the U.S. government, and won more than $50,000 in damages. Steve remains intermittently active with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in hopes of preventing further offenses against other computer users. You can read about it at

His current mega-hit is Munchkin, a very silly card game about killing monsters and taking their stuff. Also of recent note: Zombie Dice, a game where you are the zombies and you try to eat brains, and the Designer’s Edition of Ogre, which brought in nearly a million dollars on Kickstarter.

His current projects include various Munchkin follow-ups; a new edition of Car Wars; a new edition of his first RPG, The Fantasy Trip; and the quest to translate his work into digital form.

Steve is either a citizen of the Internet, or a Texan, depending on who’s asking. His other interests include gardening, dinosaurs, Lego, and trains. In his copious free time, he reads, eats, and sleeps.

Steve Jackson Games