@SwellFeatured
Featured Swellcast
@SwellFeatured · 2:59

A Swell Conversation with Howie Rubin

People are going to be contributing to this. So I'm excited. I'll start it off, and I'll probably keep on going and I know some new voices will come in. So thanks for being open to this. I'm really excited. And I guess the obvious first question I want to ask you, and it has to do with the fact that we can Google you. We can go online and read your bio. We can learn about the various companies you work for

A legend in the arcade gaming industry, Howie is a trailblazer. What’s he thinking today? @howie

@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 5:00
I accepted the job and I went back to New Jersey, built my own building, hire technicians, and for four great years sold Atari coin operated names like Sprint to Sprint, two breakout Battle Zone Missile Command. The list goes on, but some of the original great games. I also had the opportunity when I was on the West Coast to see them in development, and that was a tremendous experience just to watch everything grow and see how it was growing
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@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 5:00
As a matter of fact, when you talk about having fun, one of the things that I'm thinking about, which is very germane to what's going on today is that we were called upon to speak to a lot of people when I was at Atari to talk about the video games, and there was a lot of things going on that video games were bad for kids. We had to defend them
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@Phil
phil spade
@Phil · 2:20

#q*bert #track&field

Cubert is one of the most iconic games of this period and introduced sound effects and visual cues that were unlike anything I'd ever seen before. And as I remember, I always remember in an arcade, the Cubert machine was always turned up loudest and the sound effects from that. And the 3D layout was something that was unique and the characters were appealing, I think, to anybody both young and old. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on how Cubert actually came to life
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 2:35
It made you feel as if you were a real athlete and there was some pain in playing the game. My involvement with track and field is when Konami, as one of the five first Japanese companies to start to develop for Nintendo in Japan, decided to come to the United States. They hired me as a consultant to take the existing game that they had localize it for the American market, box it according to Nintendo standards, and then to figure out how to sell that into retail
@DBPardes
Deborah Pardes
@DBPardes · 1:25

Violence: life imitates art or vise-a-versa? #controversy

And I do consider video games a hybrid of art and sport. So I'd love to hear your thoughts about this conversation, and I'm sure they're quite extensive. So good luck with your five minutes and I'm interested. Thanks
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 4:54
Second, when I was a salesman and I had to go out and defend the coin operated games that they weren't sucking up quarters and destroying kids minds I used to talk about they become training AIDS. And I talked about the fact that a pilot really doesn't steer the plane so much as he looks at a whole bunch of panels and instruments that are up on a screen, and he has to learn how to react to those
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 5:00
If that's one of the games that you want to do. When we started Dee Godlibbing company, it was really the beginnings of the video games business. Although Atari had been in existence for three or four or five years, Japanese companies were working on video games, Bally and Midway. We're working on some video games, but there's basically nobody out there to teach anybody what to do or how to do it or why to do it
@Phil
phil spade
@Phil · 2:05

#ideasharing

Thank you so much for giving the background and the history of Cubert. And one thing that I took away from that was exactly what swell I think is going to actually do. And when you mentioned that the colors changing on the pyramid and that person saying that's it that's the game. That's how I've always worked where I need input
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 3:37
As far as the consumer games are concerned, I don't ever remember having discussions about beginnings and endings. I was always under the opinion that something could be as complex as you wanted it to be. So long as it was intuitively obvious that you had a learning process that you had to go through
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@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 1:47
It was my fault that I didn't get into level two or level three or level four, and I can keep on playing because I know I could do that if they felt that the computer or the game programmer just turned up the system. So he ended the game on you that would really tick off the player. It was very important for us. And we looked at that very hard to make sure that the player understood that there's that he lost
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@DBPardes
Deborah Pardes
@DBPardes · 1:50

Demographics- why don’t I play?

And I'm just wondering if you could speak a little bit to demographic and why certain groups are really drawn towards video games and why other groups aren't. By the way, I loved arcade games, by the way, that's different. I'm talking about the computer video experience, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. Thanks
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@Phil
phil spade
@Phil · 2:00
And I had an Atari 2600 originally and it got lost. And then my parents move and I really didn't participate in much Nintendo a little bit. But I was still in high school at the time. And then for years I didn't do much at all. But it wasn't until my daughter was born, and when she was about five or six, then we started doing video games together and trying to figure out Epic Mickey was probably the first one that we tried to solve together
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 1:22
So the fact that you didn't play a game has really nothing to do with the real demographic of men versus women. I do think that there's a difference in gameplay and women historically, I guess. And I'd have to go back and check this. But we used to believe that women historically were more drawn to the puzzle type games, to the Tetris type games, to the nonviolent type games where men were drawn to the Mortal Kombat of this world
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@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 0:35
Hey, Debbie, just one more fact. The video games business, I think globally, is somewhere around 160 or $170,000,000,000 clearly means that people avoid playing games. A bulk of that, again, is on mobile devices, and a lot of that has to do with participation. People are linking up and playing heads to head against each other and competing against each other
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@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 2:33
But I do think that the shared experience of a father being able to play with a son or a daughter is a very important part of the gameplay. And one of the things that we learned about that early on in the home development and games business. And I certainly will take you guys through a story on how it's already gotten to the home games business later on if you want to hear it
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@DBPardes
Deborah Pardes
@DBPardes · 1:01

eSports - thoughts? https://www.gocarrotgo.com/programs/esports

Let's talk about Esports. I had the chance to introduce an organization called Gokarico, which basically produces youth incentive programs to get kids to innovate for prizes is I introduced my friend there to somebody who worked for the Compton School District, someone very high up in the sort of student action programming, getting kids out into the community and also getting kids more involved in extracurricular activities that can help them. So together, they put together an incredible Esports program
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 4:11
There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of different characters who had hundreds of hundreds of different skill sets. And in order to be good at the game, you had to know which character, what powers they had. And it was really a learning process. She concluded that if kids could learn the total recall that they had to playing a game, then why couldn't they learn math and English and those kinds of things? She contacted the Boys and Girls clubs
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@DBPardes
Deborah Pardes
@DBPardes · 0:48

How do you see gamification and edutainment in the context of hope for Ed

Howie, it's so interesting. Most of the things that you're talking about, just you're at the beginning stages of so many things. I guess that's the gift we have as we grow older, as we saw so much. So as a philosopher, you have definitely piqued my interest in how you see education thriving in the context of entertainment and gamification. And I'd like you to comment on that
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 1:48
It takes the teacher to lay out the course to explain exactly what has to be done, what has to be learned, et cetera, et cetera. And then it takes the software guys to be able to sit down and write it and present it in an art form that it is easy to use very intuitive and take you from step to step to step. I think there are a ton of people who are doing it. I think there's a ton more work that can be done
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@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 0:55
It's an interesting read, and it points to the fact that school teachers in the United States were not prepared for vote learning, and it did not deliver the kind of experience that people hoped it would deliver. I guess that the article goes on to state that they are going to work on entertainment and new forms of education. And I certainly think that's that there's a future in combining in school and online to teach kids. It's definitely a wave of the future
@DBPardes
Deborah Pardes
@DBPardes · 0:40

https://on.wsj.com/30nL9Gq

Hey, Howie, thank you for that. I'm including the URL of that article in this swell so that people can access it truly incredible times that are so relevant to this conversation. And I want to pivot a little bit and ask you about baby boomers and senior citizens in reference to brain strengthening and delightful ways to engage with the video game world from your perspective, what are you enjoying lately? What would you recommend? And how do you see the market evolving? Thanks
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 1:26
Hi, Debbie. I don't think I have good answers for you with regard to what's happening in education and how you can use the computer and computer graphics to do a better job of teaching. I think that there are companies out there Khan Academies, if that's the right name, who are really specializing in different and unique ways to learn using graphic and graphic displays. I don't use social media very often
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@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 1:00

Justice starts with education and voting

Hi, Debbie. I'm sending this to you in your response to some of the conversations that you and I have had. Maybe you want to post it and start a new conversation. But I noticed a couple of days ago know that one of George Floyd's brothers talking about his brother and talking about justice, peace and justice, made the comment that there are only two real ways for black people to get peace and justice. And he said education and voting
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