International Game Developers Association
| b. June 23, 1957
d. April 23, 2009
Dave Szulborski, pioneering alternate reality game (ARG) designer and independent ARG developer, died of leukemia April 23, 2009.
- Dave Szulborski was a leading light for alternate reality games (ARGs), both as a notable grassroots developer and as a professional designer. He started out as a beta tester for Majestic, an early attempt at pervasive gaming from Electronic Arts, and spun off his first games, called ChangeAgents, in that universe. Dave was one of the first independent ARG developers, and became well-known for his work on the widely acclaimed indie games Chasing the Wish and Urban Hunt. He wrote This Is Not A Game, the first book on alternate reality games, and launched a career into professional ARG design with his contributions to Art of the Heist. Later in his career, he was creating ARGs, puzzles, stories, and projects for major clients including Disney, Chevrolet, Dreamworks, Microsoft, and the U.S. Military. He was also a popular speaker and contributing author on the topic of interactive storytelling.
- Dave passed away in April of 2009 after a long and courageous battle with leukemia. He is survived by his son Tyler, nearly two years old, and his wife, Marianne Sands. The ARG community is devastated at his loss.
- Donations in lieu of flowers are requested for Tyler's education. Please send to:
- Tyler D. Szulborski Scholarship Fund
- Long Funeral Home
- 500 Linden St.
- Bethlehem, PA 18018
- Submitted by Andrea Phillips
David S. "Dave" Szulborski, 51, of Bethlehem, passed away Thursday, April 23, 2009, in St. Luke's Hospital, Fountain Hill. He and his wife Marianne Sands were married nearly 2 years.
Born in McAllen, Texas, he was the son of Richard A. Szulborski of Allentown and the late Margaret M. (Sheese) Szulborski. He was a graduate of Parkland High School, class of 1975 and Penn State University. For the past 7 years, Dave worked as a writer of computer games and was formerly a master plumber technician and designer for of SubMicron Systems and Akrion of the Lehigh Valley. For many years he played guitar in local bands including "Scorpio". He was a member of St. John's Windish Lutheran Church of Bethlehem.
Survivors: The greatest joy of his life was his young son, Tyler. Dave is lovingly remembered by his family, wife; father; son, Tyler D. Szulborski, at home; step-children, Emily and Corey Novak, at home; brother, Robert Szulborski and his wife Debra Serfass of Shavertown; sister, Michelle Zenie and her husband Karl of Allentown; 14 nieces and nephews. Dave was preceded in death by his brother Rick Szulborski, who is survived by his wife Patricia of East Texas, PA.
Alternate Reality Games
- 2001: Majestic - beta tester, content creator through BIOS program - Electronic Arts
- 2001: ChangeAgents - Creative Chip - independent
- 2001: ChangeAgents - Operation Mindset - independent, done as part of Majestic's BIOS Program and featured on their website and in their newsletter
- 2002: ChangeAgents - Out of Control - independent
- 2003: Chasing the Wish - independent
- 2004: Urban Hunt (Dread House) - independent
- 2005: ARGTalk - independent
- 2005: Art of the Heist - for Audi, McKinney-Silver, Chelsea Digital, GMD Studios
- 2006: Who is Benjamin Stove? - for General Motors, Campbell-Ewald, GMD Studios
- 2006: Catching the Wish - independent
- 2007: Unnatural Selection (Monster Hunter Club) - for The Host movie, ARGStudios, Magnolia Pictures
- 2007: Helical Training program - an ARG based training program for BBN Technologies and the U.S. military (DARPA and JFCOM)
- 2008: Holomove - for Microsoft Visual Studio
- 2008: McCann Erickson, @radicalmedia
- 2005: Wrote and published This Is Not A Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming
- 2006: Wrote and published Through the Rabbit Hole: A Beginner's Guide to Playing Alternate Reality Games
- 2007: Contributor to book Space, Time, Play
- 2008: Contributor to books Digital Storytelling: A Creator's Guide To Interactive Entertainment, Volume 2 and Branding Only Works on Cattle
- 2006: Danger Game TV Show pilot with Superfine Films (NYC)
Non-ARG Marketing Campaigns and Online Games
- 2006: Hedgegames - for HP and Dreamworks for Over the Hedge film - Campfire Media
- 2006: Santa Barbara International Film Festival Podcasting official website design
- 2006: The Missing Gnome interactive components for Travelocity - McKinney-Silver
- 2007: Fairy Tale Ransom - M&M'S and Dreamworks for Shrek the Third - G2 Interactive
- 2007: Rise of the Chevy Autobots - Chevrolet, Dreamworks, and Paramount for the 2007 Transformers movie - Campbell-Ewald
- 2007: The President's Book Blog - Disney for the 2007 film National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
- 2008: Starburst Brand And Skittles Brand "Summer Fever Search Party" - for G2 Interactive and Skittles
- 2008: Vroengard Academy - Random House and Deep Focus for the 2008 book release Brisingr
- 2008: Red Seal puzzle - HBO and Campfire for the HBO TV series True Blood
- 2008: No Known Survivors - Electronic Arts and Deep Focus for the 2008 video game Dead Space
- Gamasutra Obituary
- Long Funeral Home Obituary
- ARG Network Blog Memorial
- Unfiction Forum Comments
- Personal Homepage