Games Can Teach You How to Read and/or Win Wheel of Fortune

Sam Lundquist is a Wheel of Fortune winner with one of the fastest solves in the show’s history. In this Story Mode, he shares how video games (specifically King’s Quest 2) taught him to read, and how a lifelong love affair with the Wheel of Fortune video game prepared him for real-life winnings. Behind the cut, pics and video of Sam on Wheel. 

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Story Mode Now on iTunes & Stitcher!


Good news, everyone! Story Mode is now available as a podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! This means you can subscribe to the show and receive automatic updates each time I post new content! HOORAY!

If you like what you’ve been hearing, there’s so much more to come! Please help me keep the dream alive by subscribing. 🙂

Thanks for all the support!

Playing Pinball @ Free Gold Watch with Tony Urso


A few months back, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in years. I asked him what games he’d been playing recently. He replied, “Well, nothing on consoles. What I’m really into now is pinball.”

I didn’t think much of it at the time, and maybe it was just the power of suggestion, but I began noticing more and more pinball all around me – a few pics on Instagram, a couple of errant tweets, pinball in the background of a sitcom, the suggestion of pinball as deviant behavior in Anatomy of a Murder. A surprising number of pinball references were accumulating in my daily life. How? Why?

Then one day, I was sifting through the Facebooks and noticed a post from a former colleague about Free Gold Watch, a combination print shop and pinball arcade here in San Francisco. Turned out he’d been working there for a while and was part of their pinball league.

I had to know more. Here’s his story…

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Story Mode Audio Sessions On Soundcloud

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All past and future Story Mode episodes will now be available on Soundcloud! Click here to give a listen.

I’m already recording a slew of new episodes! Please stay tuned for more stories from gamers and folks inside the games industry.

Hip Hop Gamer & the Woman Who Introduced Him to Games

Over the last year, we’ve seen a lot of talk (and controversy) around women and video games, as though their presence in the industry or even as consumers is something new and notable. It’s hopefully no surprise that women have been playing – and making – games for about as long as they’ve been commercially available, introducing many of today’s current gamers to what has become their lifelong passion. One such gamer is games journalist Gerard “HipHopGamer” Williams, whose grandmother played a pivotal role in creating the man, the gamer, and the brand that Gerard is today.

HipHopGamer was kind enough to chat with me about his grandmother, her influence, and his advice to anyone interested in finding and pursuing their passions.

I’ve heard you talk about your grandmother a bit before – how passionate she was about games, how influential she was to your own passion for games – could you give a little background on her? What kind of woman was she?

My grandmother was an amazing woman, man. She was very talented. She played the piano. She sang. And, obviously, she played video games. I’m basically a product of that. You know what I’m saying?

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Road Not Taken, Part 2: An Interview with Spry Fox’s Daniel Cook


Last week, I spoke with Spry Fox CEO David Edery about his twisty, turn-y, 7-year journey to his first job in the games industry. This week, I have the good fortune to chat with David’s colleague and Spry Fox CCO Daniel Cook about his own path into games. I have to say, these guys give fantastic interviews. The advice they give for those hoping to break into the games industry (or take another road less travelled) is pretty terrific. Bonus: behind the cut there is a gif of a goat pooping. – Marie

Howdy, Danc! For those who don’t know you, could you provide a little background?

I’m Daniel Cook. I’m a game designer. I’ve been doing this for 18 or 19 years now. I’ve worked on games like Triple Town and Realm of the Mad God and SteamBirds. I got my start way back in the day on a game called Tyrian with a company called Epic MegaGames (which is no longer mega, apparently). I focus a lot on systems design, efficient design.  I run a website called Lost Garden that has all sorts of game design essays. That’s the basics of who I am.

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Road Not Taken, Part 1: An Interview with Spry Fox’s David Edery


Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken is one of America’s most beloved (i.e., most frequently assigned in high-school) and most misunderstood poems (i.e., guess we didn’t read hard enough). Nearly a century after its first publication, the poem is now lending its name and themes to an upcoming game release by indie-dev darling Spry Fox. I thought it would be super interesting to chat with the folks at Spry Fox about their own paths, choices, and roads less traveled by. In the first of this two-part series, I interview Spry Fox CEO David Edery about his own twisty, turn-y path to the games industry, and ask what advice he might have for those looking to follow in his footsteps. Next week, we’ll talk to Spry Fox CCO Daniel Cook. – Marie

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