Steve Jackson Games (commonly abbreviated SJG) is a company based in Austin, Texas. It is best known as a manufacturer of role playing games. In addition, they produce card games (both of the collectable and non collectable variety), board games, wargames, and just about every type of game EXCEPT computer games (they just license their property out for those.) They also publish an online magazine called Pyramid, which covers the entire industry pretty well, not just Steve Jackson's own materials. They also sell roleplaying games (not just their own) through their mail-order service, Warehouse 23. Finally, through "Illuminati Online," they also are an ISP to the Austin area.
Steve Jackson Games was founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson himself. Steve Jackson's first works were published by Metagaming (including the very popular Ogre wargame/boardgame). Afterwards, he decided to go into business for himself and produced a few games (including his first game, Raid on Iran.) His company didn't "hit it big" until he produced Car Wars, which is still popular to this day. (And they still print it.) They're best known for their main game, GURPS which has been stable with a third edition for many years. (At least 10 years strong.) They had a big hit when they produced Illuminati: New World Order, however that game has died along with most of the other CCGs from that era. (SJG did a nifty trick with it, though, and started putting out their materials as if it were a non-collectable game.) He also got back his rights to put out Ogre.
One common theme of SJG's various materials is the idea of a vast global conspiracy called Illuminati. Apart from the inevitable games based on it (Illuminati and Illuminati: New World Order), they also published the Principia Discordia (along with their own apocryphal chapters). Their ISP is called Illuminati Online. Heck, the company's symbol is the classic eye in the pyramid. So, don't be surprised by a liberal sprinkling of fnord through their materials.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention their run-in with the United States' Secret Service at some point. In March 1, 1990 the Secret Service was busy with raiding BBSs across the country in a crackdown on piracy called Operation Sun Devil. Acting on the advice of a civilian "expert" on computer crime, they suspected that the upcoming book GURPS Cyberpunk was a handbook for computer crime. (Which of course is ridiculous because the Cyberpunk genre is set rather far in the future, and the computer crime described in the book had little relation.) The Secret Service was particularly careless with the materials they confiscated, which included many of the manuscripts that Steve Jackson was working on, their BBS which they used to support their games, and even the personal computer of the writer of the game Lloyd Blankenship (from his home). The case finally was decided in 1993, and Steve Jackson was awarded $50,000 in damages and $250,000 in attorney's fees. In addition, this case was one of the reasons for the creation of the EFF. And of course, being a game company, Steve Jackson made a game based on the experience called Hacker. Check it out, it's a fun board game.
Since Steve Jackson had to remake their BBS (founded in 1986) after the confiscation by the Secret Service, they went the "next step" and set up an ISP. They already were one of the first companies to have a good "online presence," now they had an excellent presence. I typically browse their "Daily Illuminator" for various juicy tidbits of news. If I ever have a question about one of SJG's games, I know that their website is available. If you have anything else you'd like to find out, be assured that you can easily find it in one of the URLs I provide below. I had no shortage of material to include, I had a hard time leaving anything out.
The below list is intended to be complete. However, they seem to be continually bringing things that are out of print back into print, so if I mark something down as out of print, don't expect that it's gone for good. And of course, they will add new things all the time, and retire those things which sell poorly. A complete list will be available at the URL I will list at the bottom of the page.
List of items they've sold/have for sale: (in print/out of print/etc)
URLs that are useful:
- SJG FAQ: http://www.sjgames.com/general/faq.html
- SJG main site: http://www.sjgames.com
- SJG vs SS info: http://www.sjgames.com/SS/
- Illuminati Online: http://www.io.com
- History of Illuminati BBS: http://www.io.com/io/history.html