My name is Michael Fox and games are a huge part of my life. Ever since I was a kid I've been mildly obsessed with small bits of cardboard and plastic miniatures, often trying to modify the games I played into new things and seeing if they could be broken. As a grown up, I'm still playing a lot of games but now I also get to do a little bit more...
In April 2010 I started a blog about games: The Little Metal Dog Show. Named after the fact that when I was a kid I always had to be the dog when we tried to play Monopoly (I've moved on to bigger and better games now, don't worry). It's allowed me the chance to play and talk about an incredible range of things that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. My favourite thing about the whole project though? The podcast.
In the beginning I didn't really know how I wanted the actual show to go. Somehow I managed to stumble into getting interviews with some interesting folks, and The Little Metal Dog Show was born. Since then, I've managed to get interviews with everyone from incredible designers to documentary film makers, mathematicians to artists... as long as you have something interesting to say about games, you're welcome on the show.
The definite highlight of doing the podcast was invariably the busiest four days of my life - Essen SPIEL 2011. It was my first visit to the biggest games fair in the world and I spent all my time running around, grabbing interviews and talking to pretty much everyone I bumped into. Eventually these interviews were released as four episodes of the show that ended up being some of the most popular I've put out.
Pretty impressive considering I did the whole thing on an iPhone - I simply didn't have the money to buy a proper mp3 recorder. It was a pretty convoluted production process but I managed to put them out and people enjoyed them!
Now SPIEL 2012 is looming on the horizon and I'd love to cover the show again. However, if it's possible, I have even less money than last year! Ahhh, the joys of setting up your own business... Anyway, this is (hopefully) where you guys come in. A few friends suggested that I try a crowd-funding campaign in order to fund the Essen episodes, so here we are!
So, what will your pledge do? Well, it'll help pay for transport and accommodation to sunny Essen as well as a decent portable audio set up. Free wifi in Germany seems to be a far and distant dream, so it'll also cover paying for a connection. Also: the occasional Currywurst and Mezzo Mix. I am nothing if not easily maintained. Also, if you've not tried Mezzo Mix, you're missing out.
Of course, I don't expect you folks to just fling millions of dollars in the bucket for nothing. We have splendid button badges and stickers! If you like, we'll even send you hand written postcards filled with gratitude from western Germany's finest industrial city! Some lucky folks will also get packs of promotional items and - if you're feeling sufficiently odd and affluent - there will even be DINNER.
(Please note, it will invariably be Currywurst. Sorry. But I promise currywurst is very tasty.)
Also, everyone who chooses to donate $10 or more will get access to a exclusive supporter-only episode of the show: "The Road To Essen". This will be a little different to the normal format, more like a documentary type thing than anything else that will lead up to the night before SPIEL begins...
Your contributions will also help keep the show up and running for the next year. Because hey, having the site is pretty useful for reviews and letting folks know when new episodes are up. Yay, internet! Also - because supporting folks is good - if the target gets hit, 20% of anything over the goal will be fed straight back into the crowdfunding scene.
So, that's about it. If you'd like to hear what I did last year, head to iTunes or listen for yourself by heading to littlemetaldog.com and search for episodes 31 to 34. If you'd like to hear what we get up to at the 2012 show, chuck a few dollars in the pot and - assuming the target is hit - we'll do our very best to entertain you.
Thanks for reading!
Presenter and producer