So it looks like Richard Garriott has come up trumps in his lawsuit with NCSoft… at least for now, I saw somewhere that they’ll keep fighting.
Good on him. Garriott was treated abominately by NCSoft who sacked him and tried to weasel out of their obligations by pretending that he resigned voluntarily, as determined by the jury at least.
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. In reading the comments made on other boards, I’ve seen a couple of commenters complain that Garriott deserved this fate because he chose to go into space to satisfy a childhood dream shortly after the launch of Tabula Rasa, the ‘failure’ of which caused his sacking. The inference in these comments is that Garriott abandoned the players and the game to satisfy a selfish whim.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen these comments. A lot of people were miffed about it, even before the launch of Tabula Rasa. (Personally I think they were just jealous.)
My question to these commentors is, “Huh? If you were offered a once in a lifetime chance to go into space, spend time on a space station, and view this big blue marble we live on from orbit, wouldn’t you take that opportunity?”
I sure as hell would. Even if I was two weeks from release of my game, I’d delay the launch until I had launched and come back… hopefully. Man, if I got the call up on the day before, I’d be there.
The one thing I know, is that we are still a ways off widespread access to space. I’m not counting the suborbital flights that are just on the horizon, as marvellous as they are. Even low Earth orbit tourism is at least 10 to 20 years away, and with high launch costs, well outside affordability for the average millionaire. By the time LEO tourism becomes even marginally affordable, I suspect that even those of us in our 20′s and 30′s will be too old to go up. Those of us in our 40′s will likely be pushing up the daisies. Unless of course there is a Technological Singularity in the next couple of decades, then all bets are off.
So why shouldn’t Garriott, or anyone else for that matter, if they are given the opportunity to do something like that, do it?