R.I.P. Rick Loomis").
It was only a few weeks ago that Game Industry mainstays Bill Jaffe, James Mathe, Lee Garvin, and Steve Creech passed away (see "Rolling for Initiative--RIP Bill S. Jaffe and James Mathe").
This led Loomis to ask his friend and fellow soldier Steve MacGregor to write a computer program to moderate play. When this proved successful, Loomis and MacGregor founded Flying Buffalo Inc. in 1972 to run play-by-mail games as a for-profit operation, making Loomis, as far as he knew, the first person to ever purchase a computer solely for gaming. Loomis also acquired the rights to Nuclear War, which I remember owning as a white-boxed game back in the early 1990s, and it became one of the company’s best selling products, with multiple expansions, including a randomized set of 40 cards released during the first TCG craze in 1995.
SuperNova contained some of artist Liz Danforth’s first work in the gaming field (FBI printed three magazines over time. The third, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, is still one of my favorites). In 1981, Loomis published the first of the Grimtooth’s Traps books, one of the first RPG sourcebooks not tied to a specific system.
In 1978, the Association of Game Manufacturers formed. It was soon renamed the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and elected Rick temporary president and treasurer. He went on to serve as GAMA President for a number of terms, then moving to the President-Emeritus position, regularly attending board meetings. Loomis and Flying Buffalo Inc. were fixtures at both national and regional gaming conventions, setting up for decades in dealer and exhibit halls at Origins, Gen Con, Essen Game Fair, and the GAMA Trade Show to name a few. After I got to know Rick, I learned we shared a fondness for Diet Mountain Dew, so if I knew he would have a booth at a convention, I made it a point to always bring in a couple of twelve packs of Diet Dew and drop them off at his booth.
Even with his veteran’s benefits, the family’s medical bills will run in the tens of thousands. If you are of a mind, you can contribute to the Go Fund Me campaign or purchase a Catalyst Bundle of Holding.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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Posted by Scott Thorne on August 25, 2019 @ 8:07 pm CT
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