John Holes


Questions and Answers

“I think of myself as a Bishop. Bishops are those who ponder life’s deep mysteries while seeking truth. In modern context, roles in our society who seem like this to me include: artists, writers, philosophers, religious leaders, doctors, and scientists. In game terms, the Bishop is often peering far across the chessboard from a corner or edge, thinking about what direction is best to take.”

“My most favorite figure is Richard Garriott de Cayeux. At age 13 or so, he started making computer games. Around age 18, he was encouraged by a store owner to self-publish his first game Akalabeth, which became the first published computer role-playing game. He sold each copy for $5, and one made it into the hands of a publisher, who managed to sell 30,000 copies for him.

The funds obtained in this manner allowed him to continue creating more complex games, including ones in the Ultima series that encourage the player’s in-game character to make virtuous choices to benefit others there, such as donating blood, telling the truth, expressing humility, and feeling compassion for those who need help. He is still making games to this day, and his financial success allows him to pursue other dreams, such as traveling into space like his astronaut father had. He helps others even in his pursuits, such as taking part in education outreach efforts while in space.

Richard’s former home in Texas, Britannia Manor, has hosted amazing haunted house events with proceeds going to charity. It contained medieval weapons and armor, secret rooms and passages, dinosaur fossils, and an observatory. His new home is now being constructed near the old one.

I admire Richard Garriott de Cayeux because his efforts to achieve his dreams are filled with the enthusiasm that anything should be possible. Some day, I hope to make video games that will have as far-reaching impact as those made by him and that will allow me to aim for my other dreams too. Because anything should be possible! I hope to someday contribute as much to our world as he has while in pursuit of my own dreams.

“My cousins owned a chess game, so I played with them during visits to their home. I was interested in learning how to play because seeing all of the cool-looking pieces fired up my imagination. I visualized knights on horses and all sorts of battles taking place in my mind. Every chess game has a different story to tell, and I enjoyed being an active participant in these imaginative stories as a child.”