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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Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
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Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
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MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
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PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/17/7407869/assassins-creed-unity-glitch-broken-problems-xbox-one-patch -Facepalm- Screwup means Assassin's Creed Unity's patch is the 40GB full game on Xbox One12/17/2014 - 10:17am
PHX Corphttp://www.theverge.com/2014/12/16/7401769/the-mpaa-wants-to-strike-at-dns-records-piracy-sopa-leaked-documents Sony leaks reveal Hollywood is trying to break DNS, the backbone of the internet12/17/2014 - 10:05am
E. Zachary KnightA Game being on Greenlight is not an endorsement of said game by Valve, Steam or anyone related to Valve or Steam. Greenlight is a combined sales pitch to Steam and its users.12/17/2014 - 9:51am
 

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