It’d be tough to argue that Richard Garriott hasn’t lived out the dreams of every über-geek everywhere. He first made his millions in the video game world, most notably for developing the Ultima series (and there’s that whole bit about him coining the term MMORPG). In 2008, he dropped $30 million to pay a visit to the International Space Station as one of the earliest people to take advantage of Russia’s space tourism program. That trip is now the subject of a just-released documentary called “Man on a Mission,” directed by Mike Woolf.
In 2009 Motherboard producer Juan Carlos Pineiro-Escoriaza paid Garriott a visit at his Texas home. Garriott talked at length about his career in gaming, including a curious anecdote about the launch of Tabula Rasa involving demonstrations by a number of magicians and soothsayers while at a seance.
Beyond that, Garriott chatted about his vision for the future of private spaceflight. You see, Garriott’s obscenely expensive trip 250 miles above the Earth wasn’t simply the case of a rich guy spoiling himself. It was Garriott’s chance to be the ultimate early adopter. With the end of the shuttle program looming at the time of his launch, it was an excellent call to action for the burgeoning private space industry. -Derek Mead
Be on the lookout for a new interview with Garriott by Motherboard’s Alex Pasternack coming soon.