Steven Eric Meretzky (born May 1, 1957) is an American computer game designer, with dozens of titles to his credit. He has been involved in almost every aspect of game development, from design to production to quality assurance and box design. He is best known for creating some of the famous Infocom games in the early 1980s, including collaborating with celebrated author Douglas Adams on the interactive fiction version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the few games to be certified "platinum" by the Software Publishing Association.
His keen wit, prose and coding skill made him one of only three interactive fiction writers admitted to the Science Fiction Writers of America, and in September 1999, PC Gamer magazine named Meretzky as one of their twenty-five "Game Gods"; those who have made an indelible mark on the history of computer gaming.
Meretzky was raised in Yonkers, New York. His father was trained as an accountant, but spent a career of 25 years selling automotive hardware. Meretzky's mother was a bookkeeper. He graduated from Yonkers High School in 1975, and was accepted at MIT, where he at first decided he wanted to study architecture. MIT's Department of Architecture, however, convinced him that he should instead pursue a career in Construction Management. He received a Bachelor of Science degree, but two years and several construction firms later, by 1981 he was convinced that he should instead pursue a career as a game tester for Infocom. In 1983, he became a full-time writer (an "Implementor"), scripting Planetfall and creating the famous cult figure robot sidekick "Floyd".
In 1984, he had his most famous collaboration, with Douglas Adams on the computer game version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which became one of the bestselling games of the era. Another popular game was Leather Goddesses of Phobos, whose risque writing pushed the boundaries of the art. In an interview, Meretzky said that he originally just wrote the name on a project board as a joke, but was later asked to actually develop a game to go along with the title.
In 1994, Meretzky co-founded Boffo Games, where he was Vice President of Creation, and developed such titles as the story puzzle game Hodj 'n' Podj and the detective comedy The Space Bar until the company closed its doors in 1997.
Around the year 2000, Meretzky joined WorldWinner as a game advisor and Principal Game Designer. Meretzky is also a charter member of the Computer Game Developers Association, and a frequent speaker at industry conferences such as GDC.
Meretzky appears as himself antagonizing rapper MC Frontalot in the music video for "It Is Pitch Dark." (released on Secrets from the Future). The song references several of Meretzky's text adventure games, and the video is directed by documentarian Jason Scott Sadofsky, whose film Get Lamp is about the genre.
Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Recognizes Dave Lebling and Marc Blank as the 2013 Pioneer Award Recipients
Dec 24, 2012; The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) will honor Infocom co-founders Dave Lebling and Marc Blank with its 2013 AIAS...