Museum of Curious Toys & Games: Bandai’s “God-Jesus” Robot (1984)

Hello and welcome to another view into this one-of-a-kind collection celebrating the bizarre world of  creepy or unusual toys & games. Each item featured in this collection represents a questionable (or maybe inspirational) moment in the development of toys and games throughout history.

Featured Item: Bandai’s God-Jesus Robot (a.k.a. Uranai Robo)

As we enter, as Byron Reese would say, a Fourth Age, where robots and AI transform humanity forever — perhaps it’s no better time than the present to look back to a robot toy from several decades ago. Before there was Pepper by Softbank Robotics or even Amazon Echo, there was the Uranai Robo — better known here in the US as the God-Jesus Robot.

Back to Reality: XRDC 2018 Comes to San Francisco

Busy downtown San Francisco provided an apt setting for XRDC 2018 (October 29-30, 2018), a popular conference that focuses on the AR, VR and XR industries. The compact and well-attended show brings together innovators, technology-makers and stakeholders involved in these emerging platforms.

XRDC also attracts attendees from a wide range of relevant and often overlapping verticals working in immersive tech for games, entertainment, enterprise, healthcare, science, automotive, advertising, analytics, and government-focused initiatives. As such, the show provides a good mix of program content tracks with talks and panels spanning business, product and creative for these sectors. Given its timing, location and the buzzy presence of key stakeholders, XRDC definitely provides a fair number of networking opportunities for those who are plugged in because of talent, access, tech or deep pockets.

App Growth Summit SF 2018 / Reflections & Key Takeaways

Growth Summit (October 25, 2018)

I recently attended the App Growth Summit (October 25, 2018)  in San Francisco at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center. Games and apps of all types were the focus — providing a pretty cool mix of attendees, verticals and topics throughout. The day went by surprisingly quickly and there were lots of options in terms of allowing attendees to discover useful talks, fun activities and ways to network.

Museum of Curious Toys & Games: The (Not So) Funny Face Board Game

Hello and welcome to an exclusive showing of the Museum of Curious Toys & Games. Each item featured in this unique collection represents a questionable moment in the development of toys and games throughout history.

Featured Item: The “Funny Face” Board Game

Museum of Unsettling Toys & Games: Funny Face Board Game
The “Funny Face” board game — the stuff that nightmares is made of.

Whitman was a board game company that was founded in 1916 as a subsidiary of Western Publishing Company. In 1968, Whitman had the crazy idea to make the “Funny Face” board game — screenshots from which you see here.  In 1979, Mattel purchased Whitman and they were eventually phased out. Lucky for us, “pieces” of this terrifying clown face game still live on.

My Top 10 Observations from Casual Connect USA (SF, 2014)

One of the premiere conferences catering to the world of casual games, Casual Connect USA 2014, has come and gone. I know this because I was there — attending the show in San Francisco.

My list of 10 observations from Casual Connect is a random mix drawn from the business, the people, the culture and the industry from the past few days at the conference.

1. Playmatics Made a Good Show for Branded IP

All self-promotion front and center, my gaming company, Playmatics, was well-represented at Casual Connect — especially in terms of all the work we’ve done with major brands. Since we’ve been in business, my company has collaborated with everyone from Red Bull, David Cronenberg for Body/Mind/Change, the American Museum of Natural History, AMC’s The Walking Dead & Breaking Bad….