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.