Today it was announced that American novelist Tom Clancy has passed away at the age of 66. One of the most popular fiction writers of the past few decades, his works were incredibly popular in the 1980s and 90s, capturing the zeitgeist of the changing political and military landscapes as the Cold War drew to a close.
His influence can be felt very strongly in the world of video games as well. The most obvious evidence of this is the 44 games on a range of systems that bear his name, many of which are of high quality at that. While his direct involvement in many of these games was minimal, in 1996 he co-founded Red Storm Entertainment which is the developer of the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series’, demonstrating a savvy sense that he could expand his universe into new formats. Beyond his own video games, the influence of Clancy’s work can be felt throughout the modern video game industry. His trademark stories weaving spycraft, political intrigue, and military hardware appear almost as blueprints for games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and even serve as contextual baselines for deconstructions like Spec Ops: The Line or the Metal Gear series.
I’ll be honest, I certainly wasn’t much of a fan of Tom Clancy as a person — our ideological views could not be farther apart. As a fan of his work however, I do appreciate what he has brought the world. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play some Splinter Cell.