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Nicole, Linda, and Simone are joined by game-industry veteran Mike Mika, AKA “Donkey Kong Dad,” head of development at Other Ocean Interactive, creator of the game #IDARB, and the dad of a son, 8, and a daughter, 6. As usual we run down the gaming news and jabber for a while about what we played this week.  Thanks, listeners, we love you! (Please send in questions!)

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Mike Mika: “Donkey Kong Dad” & Head of Development at Other Ocean Interactive

Mike Mika is famous for hacking Donkey Kong so his young daughter could play as a female character. He tells us the whole sweet and inspiring story. He also tells the amazing story of how he jump-started his game-development career as a kid—by making games in two-hour chunks in K-Mart while his parents shopped.  (Mike wrote about his early experiences in learning to program for Pixelkin here.) Then we learn about the game room in his basement, which is a small museum of video game history. Mike made a game called The Stacks with his friend Ernie Cline,  who wrote one of our very favorite books EVER, “Ready Player One.”

Mike talks about resources for learning coding. (And mentions our friend Mark DeLoura’s efforts in that direction; Mark was on an earlier podcast with us.) Mike’s son loves Minecraft and AirCoaster, a roller-coaster simulation app on the iPad that teaches physics. His kids have played Animal Crossing and Disney Infinity 3.0, as well.

His current game is #IDARB, an innovative crowd-sourced game that’s available on the Xbox. Coming soon is a mysterious project. Mike says “imagine #IDARB times 10.”

What We Played


This podcast was recorded in the studios of the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. The music is by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop CreativeNicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Simone de Rochefort, and Mike Mika participated in this podcast. Thanks for listening and if you liked this episode, please rate us on iTunes and find us on BlogTalkRadio!

This article was written by

Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,