Two prominent personalities in the RPG industry, it should be stressed that there are two entirely different flavours of SJ:

The better-known in North America is the one who's the founder of Steve Jackson Games (you know, the creator of GURPS and the one that got raided by the FBI?) wheras

the UK version of this fellow co-started the Fighting Fantasy gamebook phenomenon with Ian Livingstone in the late seventies and rode it out for almost a decade until they split paths to try their hands at the computer game industry. This latter Steve Jackson always insisted on trying new things, messing around with the system, genre and context of the gamebooks, and unfortunately his experimentations were rarely appreciated by his audience, with the notable exception of the Sorcery! gamebooks. Since then, one prominent contribution of his to gaming has been work on the F.I.S.T. ('Fantasy Interactive Scenarios by Telephone') system, a venture which was successful enough for him to buy a villa in Spain!

A slight further complication is that the US Steve Jackson ('Steven Gary Jackson') also tried his hand at a couple of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks - Scorpion Swamp (#8), Demons of the Deep (#19) and Robot Commando (#22). Don't be fooled!

Steve Jackson \`stev `jak·sen\ proper noun 1: a roleplaying game designer. Confusingly there seem to be at least two versions of him running around.

2: The more famous of the two was born in 1953 and is the founder of Austin, Texas based Steve Jackson Games. He has been part of the roleplaying games industry (such as it is) since the late 1970’s. He bought The Space Gamer magazine and started his own company in 1980. Since then he was written several books and designed the famous GURPS roleplaying game system, the Illuminati card game, and had a hand in creating Car Wars. Later Illuminati was turned into a collectible card game, called INWO, after the success of Magic the Gathering. Steve is also the only game manufacturer to admit that he turned down Magic the Gathering because he thought it would not sell. (Brave man) He is still single and goes to numerous game and SF conventions where he sometimes performs filk songs.

3: The UK version was born two years earlier and co-founded Games Workshop with his friend Ian Livingstone. They co-wrote several titles in the Fighting Fantasy sequence of multiple-choice gamebooks and Steve wrote several more on his own for Games Workshop. After he sold of his interest in Games Workshop he worked for a company called Computerdial that produces telephone interactive games. He now works for Lionhead Studios, an UK computer game producer. He also founded Abandon Art; an art gallery dedicated to SF & Fantasy themed art in 1993.

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