Thursday, February 28, 2008

Show #5 J. Felix LaCroix on The State of the Video Gaming Industry (00:44)

Click to listen to The Curious Minds Podcast Show #5 with J. Felix LaCroix

Jean Felix LaCroix is an executive with Genuine Auto Parts. He lives and works in Atlanta. Felix is also an avid video gamer who has a lot of experience with different game platforms and knows a lot about the industry and current trends and future directions.

Felix and I also co-organize the Atlanta Mentors Leadership Group, a group of professional friends in the Atlanta area that help educate young people about the opportunities that life affords them.

Many young people are intensely interested in video games, and rightly so. Games can be challenging and stimulating. They feature exciting story lines, action play, and interaction with other players.

What many young people (of all ages!) don't know, however, is the tremendous reach that video games and video game technologies have upon all of modern technology. And this reach is growing larger and larger every day.

Listen to the interview as Felix and I discuss these topics and more!

In the interview, we discuss the following topics:

  • The growing revenue of games (44 billion eclipsing Hollywood)
  • The history of games and gaming platforms
  • Call of Duty 4
  • Star Wars
  • George Lucas
  • Joseph Campbell
  • How Darth Vader and the storm troopers were modeled on Hitler and the Nazi forces
  • The professionalizing of game storywriting
  • The use of video-game technology for homework problems
  • Video game development platforms like XNA and other open source projects
  • GA Tech's symposium
  • GA Tech's experimental gaming lab at
  • Plans to develop a gaming development training program for young people
  • The merging of gaming technology with culture
  • The 100 Dollar PC
  • Second Life technology and virtual reality
  • Using gaming technology to preserve family history and artwork
  • The use of gaming technology in museums
  • Cartoon Network Lead Game Developer and Atlanta Gaming Development Meetup Group leader Brad Merritt's games on
  • How video game technology is used in other industries (Virtual Reality, Medical Imaging, Immersive Simulation systems, etc)

Enjoy! Happy gaming!

Finishing Super Mario Brothers in 5 Minutes

Obi-Wan never told you about your father...

Spot Felix LaCroix in The Specialist Bus Fight Scence!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Show #4: J. Daniel Sawyer Part 2 of 2: Photography, Film-making and Blender 3D Animation, and Technical Writing

Click to listen to The Curious Minds Podcast Show #4 with J. Daniel Sawyer

Turn off your monitor and press the mute button everybody, because the man who says he has "a face for radio and a voice for silent films" will never look so good nor sound so smooth until you do just that. Just kidding! James Daniel Sawyer returns to the show for the second part of his two-part interview. This time Dan gets technical about photography, Blender 3D animation, film-making, and technical writing.

You can check out Dan's photography, film-making, and technical writing through the links on his web site at

Show Music

Dan recommended the song "A Talk with George", by Jonathan Coulton. I like it very much. Below is a YouTube video of Jonathan performing the tune. You can find it on his web site at


There’s a tall thin man standing in the shadows
When he calls your name his voice is strong and clear
It’s a dark and smoky place, so you can’t quite see his face
He pulls you close and whispers in your ear

And he tells you he was born into some money
But it didn’t mean he had to sit around
And he knows a thing or two about the things that you should do
If you don’t want to take life lying down

First of all hang out a lot with Hemmingway
Spend some time fighting bulls in Spain
You should go three rounds with Archie Moore and Sugar Ray
It’s so damned scary you won’t mind the pain

Be ringside at the rumble in the jungle
Make friends with Hunter S. and Jackie O.
And when they shoot poor Bobby down, you wrestle Sirhan to the ground
Love your friends and miss them when they go

You should write a book or two and start a magazine
Even if it never makes a dime
You should swing out by your feet above the circus ring
At the very least throw parties all the time

Time and tide will never care
Not so far from here to there
We just go

Enjoy yourself, do the things that matter
Cause there isn’t time and space to do it all
Love the things you try, drink a cocktail wear a tie
Show a little grace if you should fall

Don’t live another day unless you make it count
There’s someone else that you’re supposed to be
There’s something deep inside of you that still wants out
And shame on you if you don’t set it free.