deutsche_woche.jpgI recently watched this video on the YouTube about Richard Garriott’s house and it made me quite jealous. I did not realize how much I longed for secret rooms and hidden trap doors.

Now, I have a fine house here in Ludvigshafen, and my house is not without its own bizarre and unusual features. I have a very large linen closet that is not in a place you would ordinarily expect. I have several electrical outlets that are improperly wired.

I also have a bidet, but that is only bizarre and unusual to Americans.

All very good and well, but as the owner of a relatively successful game company, I felt my house was now somewhat lacking in comparison.

I have read that Richard Garriott wanted his house to look like a castle. We have so many castles here in the Black Forest! I would not want my house to look like a castle -- it would be like wanting your house to look like a petrol station. He calls this estate Britannia Manor, as he is called "Lord British" and rules Britannia in his Ultima games.

The only in-game name I have is for our multiplayer game Hannibal Crossing: "Legatus Liebchen", but obviously I am not called this in real life (unless you know me intimately, and perhaps have seen my linen closet). And as Legatus I do not "rule" the land in Hannibal Crossing, although I do know where the best places are to dig for fossils and what trees to shake for gold.

hannibal crossing

Still, I could design some sort of game-themed estate…but my games have been so various in theme. What would my house look like -- a submarine full of zombies? A two-story accordion? A penguin? No, I am proud of those games but they do not inspire a Traumhaus.

Lord British also has a collection of odd things in his castle: skeletons, space suits, the first edition of Lord Of The Rings, a brick from the Great Wall of China. My collection pales in the comparison. I merely have all of the League Of Extraordinary Bavarians action figures in sealed packaging and a copy of “Love At First Sting” signed by Rudolf Schenker.

Well, and also Joseph Merrick’s left femur, but I don’t even know where it is. My housekeeper sometimes is too thorough in her “organizing”…have not seen that or my second Xbox fishing controller in some time now.

everyone is just dying to visit
“My gaming life and my real life are very related to each other..." -- Richard Garriott

I find this so fascinating! But I do not live in my games. This is good, because sometimes my games crash and I would be trapped and would have to fight the MPC to get out, and I would have to do all of that with Jeff Bridges. No, I do not want to be Lord Boxleitner.

But I think very few game developers live in their games. Does Shigeru Miyamoto live in a big red mushroom? Does Will Wright shrink down very small and live in a tiny Sim house where his wife is always setting the kitchen on fire and drowning the neighbors in the pool? Does Peter Molyneux live in a house shaped like a giant angry crapping cow?

blackwhite2_cow.jpg

Of course not. But I have had dreams like that when I had too much Eisbock and oysters.

No, as a game developer in these trying times, I am happy just to have a roof over my head -- I do not care if it has anything to do with my games.

Maybe just one trap door, though, would be nice, in the linen closet.