R.I.P. Bill 'The Game Doctor' Kunkel

September 5, 2011 -

Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel, who is also known as the "Godfather of Videogame Journalism," passed away on September 4. The cause of his death was unknown at the time of this writing. Bill Kunkel, along with Arnie Katz, created the first major video game magazine to be sold on newsstands. The success of that first publication led to the creation of Electronic Games magazine. Over the years Bill Kunkel has been a game designer, a consultant, a partner at J2Games, an expert witness in some of the industry's biggest court cases, a wrestling announcer, a columnist, a comic book writer (from 1977-1978 he wrote Superman, Madame Xanadu, and Vigilante comics for DC Comics and Spider-Man in 1978 - 1979 at Marvel. In 1979, he wrote Richie Rich for Harvey Comics), a strategy guide writer, and an inspiration to young games journalists in the 80's and 90's.

Most will remember him for his "The Game Doctor" columns that appeared in various magazines including EGM and Computer Gaming World, his work at Running With Scissors as the Editor-in-Chief of Postal Nation, and for his many years as a writer for various online and print publications that covered the world of professional wrestling.

In 1999 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Classic Gaming Expo along with the other co-founders of the original Electronic Games magazine, Arnie Katz and Joyce Worley-Katz. You can read more about Bill's accomplishments in this Classic Gaming Expo bio.

Bill is survived by his wife, Laurie; sisters, Stephanie Giglio, and Karen and Joellen "Cookie" Kunkel; brothers, Ken and Stuart Kunkel; and numerous nephews and nieces (thanks to Vince Desi for that information).

For those of us who grew up reading his columns and enjoying his writing in various magazines, Bill Kunkel truly was an inspiring force. He is one of the reasons that I decided that writing about video games was a wonderful idea. He is and always will be a legend.

Please send all condolences and tributes to his wife Laurie at ElfKunkel at aol dot com.

Thanks to Running With Scissors founder Vince Desi for informing us of Bill's passing and for the photo. We are sorry for your loss.


Comments

Re: R.I.P. Bill 'The Game Doctor' Kunkel

I grew up reading his works, he inspired me to finally up and become a video game journalist.

Requiescat in pace, friend. You will be missed.

Re: R.I.P. Bill 'The Game Doctor' Kunkel

RIP, Bill. It was great getting to know you - even if it was only for a little while.

 
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Papa MidnightIt's not bad so far, but I am honestly not sure what to make of it (or where it's going for that matter)07/28/2014 - 9:44pm
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Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
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ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
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E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
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MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
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