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Obituary: Alternate Reality Designer Dave Szulborski
Obituary: Alternate Reality Designer Dave Szulborski
April 28, 2009 | By Kris Graft

April 28, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Fans, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of alternate reality game designer Dave Szulborski, who passed away last week after a long battle with leukemia. He was 51.

Szulborski didn't start his career in ARGs until 2001, when he was a beta tester for Electronic Arts' Majestic. But over the next seven years, he became a prolific and influential contributor to the ARG arena.

Szulborski not only worked on ARGs like ChangeAgents and the U.S. military's Helical Training program, but he was also a published author (This Is Not A Game: A Guide To Alternate Reality Gaming), puzzle designer and online marketing game designer.

One of the most recent marketing campaigns he worked on was EA's "No Known Survivors" website for the horror game Dead Space.

Szulborksi is survived by a wife and a baby boy.

On news of his passing, the ARG online community expressed an outpouring of condolences.
"Nothing I say could be enough to express how loved Dave is. He changed my life..." said one message poster on the Unifiction ARG forums.

"You will be remembered as one of the great pioneers of the genre," said another.

A memorial service was held in Szulborski's home state of Pennsylvania on Monday. Szulborski requested that instead of flowers, that people could instead contribute money to his son's education. said contributions can be sent to:

Long Funeral Home
500 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

"Make the check payable to Long Funeral Home, and put 'Tyler Szulborski Education Fund' in the memo."

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Gregory Kinneman
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I read his book for one of my classes on Storytelling in Games. It was Dave who opened my eyes to the potential of ARGs and their ability to tell non-conventional stories. He will be missed.