Online Game Legend Award Archive


The Online Game Legend Award recognizes the career and achievements of one particular creator who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.



3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards (2012)


Raph Koster has led a prolific career. As the lead designer on Ultima Online and the creative director on Star Wars Galaxies, his contributions helped lay the foundation for the many massively multiplayer games that followed. Koster's professional credits span nearly every facet of game development, including writing, art, soundtrack music, programming and design.

Raph Koster is considered a thought leader, as a frequent lecturer and published author on topics of game design, community management, storytelling and ethics in game development. His A Theory of Fun, published in 2004, is considered seminal by educators and members of the art game movement, as well as being one of the most popular books ever written about games.

In his youth, Koster taught himself programming on an Atari 8-bit computer that he used to create the first game he ever sold, to a fellow classmate. His early professional years include work on the award-winning multi-user dungeon LegendMUD, which he later parlayed into a position as lead designer on the seminal MMORPG Ultima Online. Koster's varied interests in writing, art and graphic design served him well when he joined Sony Online Entertainment in the role of creative director on Star Wars Galaxies, a game praised for its lush graphics, authentic movie-based soundtrack, expansive in-game world, customization options and sophisticated gameplay mechanics.

After serving as chief creative officer at Sony Online Entertainment, Koster established his own firm, Metaplace, a software platform developer for social worlds and the company behind popular Facebook games Island Life and My Vineyard. In 2010, Metaplace was acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group's online social development arm, Playdom, where Koster currently serves as vice president of creative design.



2nd Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards (2011)


Kelton Flinn began writing multiplayer games while a college student, competing then collaborating with John Taylor. Together with Taylor, he co-founded the seminal online game company Kesmai Corporation in 1982. Flinn's roles at Kesmai spanned programming, infrastructure development, and CTO. Flinn is best known for his work on the first commercial graphical client-server online game, Air Warrior. Since 2002, Flinn has been with Video Gaming Technologies (VGT), a leader in the Indian gaming market in Oklahoma.


John Taylor co-founded Kesmai Corporation in 1982 and served as its CEO until 1995. During his tenure, he led the company to be the top provider of online games for CompuServe and America Online producing such games as Mega Wars III, Island of Kesmai, Harpoon Online, Air Warrior and Multiplayer BattleTech. Taylor is currently the CEO of Castle Hill Holdings where he mananges intellectual investments in the gaming business.



1st Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards (2010)


Dr Richard A. Bartle is Senior Lecturer and Visiting Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, UK. He is best known for having co-written in 1978 the first virtual world, MUD, and for his 1996 Player Types model which has seen widespread adoption by the MMO industry. His 2003 book, "Designing Virtual Worlds", is the standard text on the subject, and he is an influential writer on all aspects of MMO design and development.