Who Are You?

I’ve been writing this blog for about three years now. It has been an immensely rewarding experience that has forced me to carefully think through — and rethink — a variety of my assumptions. When I’ve been too hasty or too lazy to have an informed opinion, but have nevertheless opened my big mouth, you’ve been sure to call me out. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and thank you for keeping me humble. :-)

Still, I have one complaint. There appear to be about a thousand people (if my traffic reports are to be believed) who read this blog regularly but who never post comments. And that’s totally fine, of course — I’m gratified that you even think this blog is worth reading! But still, I’m curious. Who are you, oh mystery reader? What do you do for a living? What makes you stick around here?

If you don’t want to post a comment publicly, just drop me a note via my contact form. I’d love to hear from you. :-)

Of course, it isn’t fair to ask these questions and not volunteer a bit of personal information about myself. I’ve generally refrained from doing personal posts, mainly because I’ve always assumed that nobody would be interested in that stuff. But, as I’ve become a more avid reader of other blogs, I’ve realized that I really appreciate knowing something about the person whose blog I’m reading. It gives me useful perspective on what they post and why. And if I appreciate it, maybe you will too?

So here’s some random stuff about me. In the future, it will be less random.

  • I’m married to a wonderful women named Eve Crevoshay. Eve is my college sweetheart. She’s a cute brunette who grew up in the middle of nowhere (rural Vermont), in a home that didn’t have electricity until she was two and didn’t have an indoor flush toilet until she was a teenager. Eve works for Facing History & Ourselves, a non-profit whose mission is to “engage students in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.” She’s an English major, like me, and a lover of chocolate, also like me. But she still won’t play most video games, ten years into our relationship.
  • I like snowboarding (though I’m not yet good enough to tackle black diamonds with flair), gardening, writing, and obviously games of all kinds. I love to get myself into political debates, even though I know that political debates are generally pointless — people inevitably emerge from them more convinced of their own positions than ever. I’m most content when cuddling on the couch with Eve and my dog, Pooka. I treat Pooka like a daughter (much to the amusement and dismay of my parents…)
  • I’m one-half Romanian, one-fourth Egyptian, and one-fourth Moroccan. Almost no one has ever been able to successfully guess any part of that. People generally think I’m Italian or something. In fact, when I visited Italy once, a remarkable number of people began conversations with me in Italian… too bad I only knew the word “gelato.” :-)
  • My current favorite boardgame is Agricola. My all-time favorite is Scrabble. My favorite PC game is Planescape: Torment. I can’t bring myself to pick a favorite console game; nothing really stands out for me above all others that I’ve played.
  • I was accepted to medical school in college, and decided at the very last minute not to go. Hardest decision of my life, and probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

That’s enough about me. What about you?

526 responses to “Who Are You?

  1. You want a thousand comments? hmm…

    I don’t know if I’ve commented here before or not.

    I subscribed to your blog as a way of learning more about upcoming plans for the XBLA, but I am also interested in a lot of the articles you share here.

    Weird fact. I live in the Seattle area, and I once participated in a focus group for the XBox Live platform, shortly after the 360 launch. I don’t know how much I can say without violating the NDA’s I signed back then, but they were looking at integrating some kind of strategy guide functionality into the dashboard at the time. There were a lot more specific details shown to us, but I’ll defer to the NDA’s on that.

    Anyway, if you were one of the people that saw the tapes, I was the guy who exasperatedly said “what’s next, Xbox Live Neon!?!”

  2. You know who I am. I just don’t comment all that much :)

    And hey — see you at the Leadership Forum!

  3. I’m one of your lurkers. I read all your posts, but I think I’ve commented perhaps once. :)

    I run a small independent studio in Phoenix; was doing coin-op, now working on console… not Xbox specifically, but still very interested in what’s going on in that neck of the woods.

    I can’t remember where I found your blog, but I know it was linked from an article in another blog I read. Whatever article it was, I found it insightful and I’ve been a reader ever since! I enjoy the business perspective particularly. The game industry shares tech and art techniques all the time, but so little is written about the business side that it makes sites like yours really valuable.

  4. Hey Dave,

    Kees from Slick Entertainment.

    Somehow your blog has topics/posts/news that I often seem to have missed on the other bigger game news sites.

    Also, through your posts I can usually pick up a few interesting tips/opinions on game development.

    To give an example, I remember you talking about games that act a bit like a sandbox, instead of being very linear in complete or fail tasks. Or pointing out what you like and dislike in games of competitors platforms (i.e. LittleBigPlanet) That sort of stuff isn’t often talked about in public from the perspective of a game/console provider/publisher.

    I also love digital distribution and things like XBLA, PSN, WIIware, so I find your blog posts useful to stay up to date on their developments as well. For example i remember you posting about the mechanics you put in place to green-light games.

    Those sort of insights help you judge your own game designs even before you submit them to make sure you don’t waste everybody’s time. “If I was David and I was seeing 100’s of games every month, would this game still appeal to me and why”. That sort of stuff. There is no magic formula of course, but it helps to fine tune your game design.

    Occasionally it would be nice if you could slip some more ‘insider discussions’, i.e. how does Microsoft predict that XNA Community versus XBLA will play out.
    How do these platforms differ (other then the fact that one only has a 48 submission time and has to be developed with XNA). Or how is XNA going to filter potentially 100’s of games. But I can also understand you can only say so much :)

    Take care,

    -Kees

  5. Curious to see the summary of responses you get. I have similar (though smaller, humbler level of traffic) ratio of visits/commenters. I’d assumed the bulk of the traffic was bots, etc, and not real people.

    Doesn’t matter though. All you need is a handful of commenters to help shape your ideas and serve as good contacts and it’s worth every minute spent on the blog. at least that’s what I found.

    Cheers,

    Kim

  6. Hey Dave, It’s Angus from Xbox.com. You may remember me as that guy that works the next hall down from you, enabling wonder and generally forming leprechauns out of pure magic. I also do birthday parties. We were introduced through our mutual friend Dan Cook, and while I think I’ve stumbled over your blog before, I didn’t start reading it religiously until recently. I find it to be refreshing and a reasonably oblique angle from what you normally see in industry blogs, so keep it up. =)

  7. You might not be surprised to find me lurking in the shadows, David. For everyone else, I am Director of Customer Insights at Peppercom Strategic Communications and a research affiliate at MIT, where David and I worked together quite often–and are both still affiliated with–the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium.

  8. Hello Dave…
    I teach physics, web, and game design at one of our local high schools and am always looking for inspiration, especially for my after school game design club. Your “Articles of Interest” have been a gold mine for me :)
    Thanks!
    Scott

  9. Hello Dave,
    I’m an educator from Memphis, TN. My interest is designing games and simulations for elearning. I subscribe to a number of casual and serious games blogs for inspiration. Thanks for your insight and sharing!

  10. Hi Dave,

    Hi from Montreal (Ubisoft). Commented maybe once or twice, found your blog while browsing links on Kim Pallister blog.

    I keep coming back because you touch the business aspect of our industry.

    Pat

  11. I´m Patrick, just published a review of your book on Play This Thing in the recent past. I work for an independent studio in Buenos Aires, doing prototypes in Game Maker, maybe moving on to project management in a quarter or two. Sabarasa was listed as one of MS´s top 6 latin american devs, so we may be working together at some point as well. I like swimming, psychedelic music, and am dating a really nice Argentine girl who thinks 9-11 was bogus. I also majored in english, which I took as an excuse to start developing games. I agree on your Planescape pick. I´m quarter mick, quarter brit, quarter kraut and a quarter wop. I once considered applying to law school but got over it.

    It´s going to be an inflationary depression.

  12. This is your little sister, aka Booger, as you named me while watching a Hootie and the Blowfish video when we were in high school. A little about me: I’m the youngest member on the faculty at the largest arts university in the country. I was just published for the first time in the International Journal and the entire edition was inspired by my travels. I’m single but hopefully not for much longer because I’ll be 3-0 this year and thats starting to get into the danger zone. Not that I want kids, I may, but I’m just saying, I’ve done the single thing already. I love Ireland and want to be there more but I need to rake in some bucks because the academic artist genius thing is low paying till now. High rewards though. I miss you and I love you- how’s that for personal?

  13. I’m like Darius. Only less orange. :)

  14. This is my first time to your site, and thus my first time to comment. I am a semi-retired guy interested in gaming for education. I am interested in it although having spent a career in corporate training via technology in healthcare, higher ed and public television. Gaming has been an interest having designed and built board games twenty years ago. I really am only getting into electronic gaming ( I hate to say this on this site.) I just returned last week from an ALA conference on Gaming, Learning and Libraries in Chicago. ( Great place to be on election night…Grant Park) My enthusiasm for gaming has been re-kindled and I will be back to your blog. By the way…I live here in Columbia, SC, home of Hootie and Blowfish!

  15. Hi Dave,

    I believe I’ve read your blog since the beginning, as I remember when you started it (calling it “Game Tycoon” was a bold move, back then!). We met at E3 one year (2005?) when you were still with MIT. Since then, I think we’ve met up at GDC, Casual Connect and probably elsewhere. I read your blog regularly because you’ve got some great thoughts you’re not afraid to put out there for scrutiny. Although I know the best stuff is all locked up within the walls of MSFT, sadly. ;)

    Anyway, you know me but for the sake of adhering to this format, I:

    – Currently do creative direction/exec prod consulting for console and online (aka Flash multiplayer) dev studios.
    – Write http://www.freetoplay.biz
    – Have been a game producer/designer since 1995, credited on a dozen or so titles. Spent 5 years at EA, 4 years at THQ, 2 at my own NASDAQ-traded company, etc. Published products on PS1, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, etc.
    – Have a TV show on air currently that I co-created (Urban Vermin – animated kids show).
    – Was named Canadian “Producer of the Year” in 2006.
    – Am married with 3 kids under 3 years old – live in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    – Own a daycare/preschool that our kids attend.

    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/adrian

    I won’t be at IGDA Leadership forum this year as I can’t break away from the newborn, but I’ll see you at GDC.

    Adrian

  16. Hey Dave,

    Brian from Ubi here. We met briefly @ IGDA after your session on MBA lessons learned. I was the associate producer who asked you some questions regarding the MBA / producer career path.

    I read your post few months back about the MBA producer debate and it was really cool to actually meet you in person. As I think about applying to a top b-school program, I may seek your expertise. Hope it won’t be too much trouble. Keep in touch!

    -Brian

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