MMORPG veteran Richard Garriott decries ‘space tourist’ label

If you haven’t figured it out, Shroud of the Avatar and Ultima Online’s Richard Garriott is on a press tour lately for his new memoir, Explore/Create, in which he talks about his interesting life of video game development, adventuring, and even space travel.

As part of that tour, Garriott penned a piece for NBC news in which he goes more in depth about his stint as an astronaut that was sent up to the International Space Station in 2008. While the game designer paid a large sum of money for the privilege of the space flight, he pushed back hard against any suggestion that he was nothing more than a tourist.

“Please don’t call me a ‘space tourist,'” he wrote. “I was not a tourist. I got the same training NASA (and Russian) astronauts get. In orbit, I worked hard to complete those experiments both to offset the high cost of my flight and, more important, to build the businesses that will take me (and you) back to space and ultimately help humanity escape the cradle of our existence.”

Source: NBC News
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40 Comments on "MMORPG veteran Richard Garriott decries ‘space tourist’ label"

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Pedge Jameson

And I might be wrong, but don’t all space tourists have to get all of that training because of safety? Who’s he think he is?

ceder
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ceder

A less qualified Howard Wolowitz.

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Bryan Correll

It really is unfair to call him a Space Tourist. I’m sure the Russian Space Agency referred to him as Cargo. Personally I would go with Space Whale

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Pedge Jameson

“Hey Garriot? Maybe your a big yahoo on the land but out here your just
supercargo. If you don’t want to backstroke home, you get down here!”

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steve

Spaceman Rich should be one of the passenger NPCs in Star Citizen who hires you to take him places and do all of the work while he brags about himself and criticizes everything, like the worst escort quest ever.

As a bonus he should be stalked by assassins who know him by his alias, “Emperor England”.

ceder
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ceder

To me he’s just a big bang theory Howard Wolowitz, just without an engineering degree with the way he carries on about it.

*Bernadette angry style voice* “Ok Howie, enough with the “I was an astronaut”.”

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Sally Bowls

Clearly. he was rich. I presume he is still rich. So why is SotA going through all the hassle of asking non-qualified (i.e. non-rich people with many more governmental regulations ) investors for not that much (if you are space rich) money?

OTOH, RG does not get to tell me how to spend my money or criticize my investment success; and the reverse is true.

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Boom

aaahh so this was the experiment he was working on

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Mewmew
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Mewmew

He wasn’t chosen to go as part of a rigorous selection process, he paid to be brought up there as part of a publicity stunt. Sorry Garriott but you absolutely are a space tourist.

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kgptzac

Last time I checked, “tourists” pay, but don’t do it for stunts, nor they would subject themselves to training. Maybe he can’t be called an actual astronaut, but he also isn’t a tourist. Maybe we should invent a term, like “space Garriott”, to describe him.

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Lord Zorvan

Sorry Garriott, riding daddy’s space coattails doesn’t make you an astronaut.

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MesaSage

SoTA is taking us into space?

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Jack Pipsam

The IGN Unfiltered podcast episode with him was actually really interesting as well. Lots of stories he can tell.

http://au.ign.com/articles/2017/03/31/ign-unfiltered-17-ultima-creator-and-astronaut-richard-garriott

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Sunken Visions

Richard Garriott, another cautionary tale of fame going to ones head. He had potential, but decided to ride his own coattails instead of improving himself. So disappointing.

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Gadgets-4G

So, what his family starved, his kids turned to drugs and crime? Who the hell are you to judge his potential you make games? You been to space? You know what’s disappointing. A kid that grew up being nothing special having the balls to decry someone else’s moderate success.

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Bryan Correll

I don’t have any problem spending his money however he wishes. But if the only thing that gets you into space is providing hard currency to the Russian government you’re a tourist, not a “for realsies!” astronaut.

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McGuffn

comment image

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starbuck1771

He was up there installing the Immortality Drive which my DNA is on. So since he was in fact working he IMHO was not a Tourist.

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Tobasco da Gama

“MMORPG Veteran” is a funny way to spell “Space Tourist”, Justin.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Way to draw attention to the thing you don’t want people to call you!

That said, the real test is “Would you have gotten to go into space had you not thrown a bunch of money at people?” If the answer is “no,” then you might be a space tourist. That you paid for the whole space camp “be an astronaut” package with training and tasks seems irrelevant. That could have been done by somebody whose whole professional life had been devoted to going into space… the same person who had to sit that mission out because they overbooked the flight and kicked them off.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

You should probably read the source article.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

I did. I don’t think anything in it contradicts my point of view. He should be happy he was able to buy his way into space rather than insisting that people acknowledge him as an astronaut rather than a tourist.

But this isn’t the first dubious claim he’s been involved with. I recall the bio he provided calling himself the “father of online games” at GDC a decade or so back. So statements from him get a bit of scrutiny.

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Crowe

I read the source. It says nothing about the years/decades of training and experience that astronauts need to get *prior* to becoming astronauts. So he ought to just go ahead and order up some of Peter Dinklage’s space pants because he is most definitely a space tourist.

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Paragon Lost

Now now now, that would get in the way of hyperbolic sarcasm…

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Utakata

It’s almost if he was having an “I was on the Missouri” moment. o.O

Alfredo Garcia
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Alfredo Garcia

Does it really matter? I mean, I’d be all “I WENT TO SPACE, BIZNITCHES!”

And I wouldn’t care one bit about the how, why, or wherefore.

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Armsbend

Exactly. Call a spade a spade and be proud of it. If I had the dough to do something like that I would. And the experiments…what else would he do up there? They had to entertain him and themselves somehow by including him. Nothing wrong with that.

But to call it anything else. Sad he isn’t based in reality.

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Sally Bowls

“Sad he isn’t based in reality.” Sad??? I yearn to be so rich that I am oblivious to reality. Alas, it appears that laziness and procrastination are not helpful in this endeavor.

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Dobablo

“I didn’t go on a safari holiday. I paid to work with a conservation project helping to establish and build the businesses that will take me (and you) back to nature and ultimately help humanity experience wildlife in the cradle of its natural surroundings.”

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Tazuras

After reading the article it is clear that at the very least Garriott has made contributions that have changed space travel policy and perhaps the space travel industry for the better.

Lots of people need vision correction and without Garriott they might have never had the chance to email astronauts and that is just one of his contributions.

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Armsbend

Thank you for making animals possible.

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Utakata

“I didn’t go to that 5 star exclusive resort on this tropical island for a holiday. I paid to help lift the local inhabitants out of their desperate economic circumstances while ‘immersing’ myself in their plight!”

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Targeter

“I didn’t go to that 5 star exclusive resort on this tropical island for a holiday. I paid to help lift the local inhabitants out of their desperate economic circumstances while ‘immersing’ myself in their plight!”

somewhere, there is a beard oil shop. in this shop that caters to a select clientele who make sure everyone knows they shop there, two late-20s men stand beside a display of creams and conditioners for facial hair, talking casually about their new Audis and how the old BMWs they had were just too ‘unrefined.’ ideally, they’d like to go electric, but the poors are holding Tesla up as the savior of mankind with the Model 3, and it no longer has the appeal now that the peasantry are interested. they would order their beard creams online, but they like the tactile feel and close-knit community of the beard shop. they call the shopkeep the wrong name constantly and then laugh it off as if it’s a private joke. their conversation turns to recent vacations, and then that exact quote happens.

somewhere in the Ohio Valley, Targeter’s head explodes.

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Targeter

#thingsspacetouristssay

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A Dad Supreme

“Please don’t call me a ‘space tourist,’” he wrote. “I was not a tourist.”
=========
A “space local”?

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Mikka Hansen

If there ever is a kickstarter to send LB back to space on a one way trip I’ll drop $200.

btw, SOTA is a huge trainwreck very very close to happening

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Korbenik

make tabula rasa f2p and ill play it shroud looks way worse then tabula

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William Bond

Make it p2p and I’ll sub right now ;)

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Armsbend

So the Space Tourist rationalizes his being a tourist by thinking he made some monumental step for mankind by writing a check.

Okay Rich.

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Pedge Jameson

One small check for man, one giant cheat for Mister Garriott.

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