On How I Managed to Wake Up Famous

I live in a freezing apartment in upstate NY.  Rent is $750 a month.  I buy groceries at Wal-Mart.  I buy clothes at Target.  I drive a 1994 Honda Accord that was a hand-me-down from my sister.  Yet, somehow, this happened:

“The guy that made this game is nuts.”

As the sole creator of the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade game Dishwasher, Silva found himself the poster boy of Microsoft’s efforts to “democratize game development” at the Game Developers Conference. The Utica, NY independent gamemaker shared the stage with game design luminaries like Tomonobu Itagaki and Peter Molyneux at Microsoft’s GDC keynote.

LA Times:

The 26-year-old from Utica, N.Y., paid his way through college by scrubbing dishes at a diner. That job might help him become the Quentin Tarantino of video games: He used it as inspiration for “The Dishwasher,” in which the title character becomes a ninja and slashes his way out of a kitchen overrun by villains.

Ars Technica:

“James has quit his job… it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.” James Silva quickly became one of the stars of the GDC this year, and the video Microsoft created to highlight his game and one-man-team ethic showed that it knows how cool James Silva is. Microsoft desperately wants a piece of that cool. 

For the record, Microsoft never quite came across as desperately wanting a piece of my cool, but I thought that quote was too good to leave out.  The XNA team are just about the coolest bunch of geeks I’ve ever met; it was awesome meeting up with them for classy San Francisco dining–I got to meet the team behind the tech that the Dishwasher is based on and they got to meet the guy behind the game that shows off their tech.  There was a lot of mutual gushing.