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Harold Ramis: A gamer's tribute

By now the entire world has gotten word of Harold Ramis passing. The creator of such films like Ghostbusters, Caddyshack and Groundhog Day was pronounced dead on February 24, 2014, in his Chicago-area home from complications arising from vasculitis. You may ask yourselves why is this actor’s untimely death being covered on a video game article? Most people are not aware that Mr. Ramis was an influential force in the video game industry long before it was a thriving industry.

Harold Ramis
Photo by Tasos Katopodis

The Ghostbusters franchise were one of the very first Hollywood intellectual properties to make the jump into video game genre. The first Ghostbusters video game was released in 1984 licensed and published by Activision. The game was no Zelda by any means, and it wasn’t something with a lot of complexity either. It was after all a run and shoot sandbox style video game running on an 8 bit platform, the game was released to numerous home computer and video game console platforms of the time.

The most epic version of the first Ghostbusters game was created by Japanese based developer Micronics for the NES system, which had terrible grammar for the ending text of the game.

Conglaturation !!! You have completed a grate game. And prooved the justice of our culture. Now go and rest our heroes !” — End of game message.

The highest compliment the first Ghostbusters game could have received at the time, was that it didn’t contribute to the video game crash of 1983. That rare distinction is reserved to Mr. Spielberg for his work on E.T. Extra-Terrestrial video game.

In subsequent years after the release of the first Ghostbusters film and video game. More games were produced for the Ghostbusters franchise and despite where Mr. Ramis film projects might have taken him. He always contributed to the character he made iconic to many Geeks the world over, Dr. Egon Spengler. Mr. Ramis along with most of the original cast lent their voices for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which was released in 2009 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii. The game bolstered better than average scores on sites like Metacritic, IGN and GameStop.

Collectionary, a website dedicated on becoming the Wikipedia of video games. Has listed a very rare NES Ghostbusters styled system, which only serves to the enduring testament of what Mr. Ramis co-created with actor Dan Aykroyd. Harold Ramis will be sorely missed, yet there is a reason to rejoice for his formidable body of work can be seen on screen and experienced in games.

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