Steve Jackson Games

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Steve Jackson Games (SJG) is a game company, founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson, that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games, and the gaming magazine Pyramid.

Contents

History

Founded in 1980, six years after the birth of Dungeons & Dragons, and before the height of role-playing games, SJG created several role-playing and strategy games with science fiction themes. SJG borrowed and expanded upon ideas pioneered by strategy game companies such as Metagaming Concepts, Avalon Hill and TSR. Despite these similarities, SJG had a unique feel all their own and became popular with their releases. SJG's early titles were all microgames initially sold in 4×7 inch ziploc bags, and later in the similarly sized Pocket Box.[2] Games such as Ogre, Car Wars, and G.E.V (an Ogre spin-off) were popular during SJG's early years.

Today SJG publishes games of numerous varieties (card games, board games, strategy games) and genres (fantasy, sci-fi, gothic horror); they also publish the book Principia Discordia, the sacred text of the Discordian religion.

Raid

On March 1, 1990, SJG's offices in Austin, Texas were raided by the U.S. Secret Service. The manuscript for GURPS Cyberpunk was confiscated although this was merely coincidence and not the actual purpose of the raid at all. The raid is often thought to have been related to Operation Sundevil, a nationwide investigation of computer crime; however, Sundevil was based in Arizona and the Steve Jackson Raid was coordinated out of Chicago. More than three years later, a federal court awarded damages of $50,000 and attorneys' fees of $250,000 (amounts in USD) to SJ Games, ruling that the raid had been carelessly executed, illegal, and completely unjustified. Cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling discussed the affair in his non-fiction book The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier. The case also helped to prompt the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as spawning a new game, Hacker.

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