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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2011, Posted On: 9/8/2011

Bill Kunkel, Legendary Videogame Reporter, Dies At 61

Marcus Webb
video game, arcade video games, Bill Kunkel, Electronic Games Magazine, The Game Doctor, video game journalism, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Arnie Katz, Joyce Worley

Bill Kunkel

NEW YORK CITY -- Bill Kunkel, cofounder and executive editor of Electronic Games Magazine, died of a heart attack at his Michigan home on Sept. 4. He was 61.

Kunkel, known as “The Game Doctor” for a column he published in several industry magazines, started as a videogame journalist in 1978. Electronic Games launched in 1981, the year that Pac-Man and Asteroids took America by storm.

Kunkel’s partner in his column, the magazine and other videogame ventures were his lifelong friends, Arnie Katz and Joyce Worley.

A strong defender of the videogame entertainment sector against critics outside the industry, Kunkel and his associates are credited with coining such terms of art in the gaming field as "Easter egg,” "play mechanics” and "screenshot," among many others.

Consumer game magazines largely faded from the market several years ago, but Kunkel remained active through the end of his life with online pieces for game-focused websites.

Kunkel is survived by his wife Laurie and several extended family members. Memorial services were planned for Michigan with memorial services in Las Vegas and New York City.

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