I have no real insight into the root causes of the collapse of 38 Studios, the company founded by baseball great Curt Schilling. I haven’t followed the rise and fall of the company. I didn’t buy Kingdoms of Amalur.
Clearly, the stories circulating on the web imply that Schilling was a poor businessman, got himself over his head and made a bad deal with Rhode Island. A lot of voices imply that he brought this on himself.
And yet I am a little sad.
Curt Schilling is a gamer. He is “one of us” so to speak. It just happens that, along with his RPG habit, he also developed the ability to throw a baseball at 90+ mph.
Schilling was on the Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox in his career. Since I am a Yankee fan, this career path would normally qualify as grounds for him to be shot on sight. And yet I cannot hate him.
He is the crossover between jocks and nerds. I like to think that he would have been the guy at the athlete’s lunch table in high school who would stop to talk about Magic: the Gathering with the “uncool” gaming crowd. I imagine him interposing himself between some hulking football player and a freshman carrying Pokemon cards, preventing the inevitable wedgie that was to come.
I can only wonder about the ribbing he took from other ballplayers when he “came out” with his gaming obsession. Here’s a guy who was earning over ten million dollars a year to play ball. Many of his peers were using their MLB paychecks to buy houses and cars and boats. What did Schilling do? He started a gaming company. Wouldn’t we all love to do that?
He may have brought this on himself, but I still feel bad. He’s a guy that has lived out some of our greatest boyhood fantasies – fame, athletic greatness, wealth, and owning a video game company. It would have been nice to see a happier ending, on behalf of all of us who can’t pitch but wish we could.