We had the good fortune of connecting with Myles Nye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Myles, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
Last year I read two books by Bernie DeKoven, “The Well Played Game” and “A Playful Path.” Though ostensibly books about games, they are really philosophy books. I haven’t read much philosophy and I didn’t think I would like it, but it turns out if they are in the guise of books about playing games, then I like them quite a lot! Bernie is very funny and his books are also very wise and thought-provoking, and the impression I was left with is that games are good jolly fun – which is enough all on its own! – but they are actually quite a bit more. They are a pinnacle of human cooperation and community support and they tap into the very essence of what makes us most human. Bernie’s new book “The Infinite Playground,” published posthumously this year, expands on this subject matter and introduces the idea of “coliberation,” how play transmutes the centering of “me” into the elevation of “we.” I also want to mention “The Will to Change” by bell hooks, an intersectional activist writer who served me a big helping of wake-up call. It is lovely that I’ve had the opportunity to dedicate my life to something as whimsical as playing games, but the reasons behind that are steeped in the privilege backed into my race (white) and my sex (cis male) and if we’re really going to coliberate one another through play, there’s a lot of work to be done for the communities who are too often neglected and mistreated. If we’re going to genuinely all play together, we have to first understand the power structures that have kept many of our players out of the fun for too long.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We started Wise Guys Events in a leaky garage in Silverlake in 2009. We set out to become the premiere source for real life games in Southern California and beyond. What that meant is we created games without screens that real people play in real life: on the beach, at the park, in the city streets, or at the hotel ballroom, convention center, or meeting space. Companies such as Google, Apple, Nike, Toyota, Disney, and KPMG love our playful experiences for professionals because their people have so much fun playing together, they don’t even realize they’re accomplishing something. “Team building” is often viewed with a skeptical eye – and rightly so! it’s good to be skeptical – but we’re never cheesy, always meaty, and in all the years we’ve been in business, we’ve never done a single trust fall.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love eating – all I think about is food – and my favorite eatery there is, is Clementine, a bakery in Century City.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife Dr. Laurel has been my biggest supporter, not just through her encouragement and having my back, but the ways in which my pursuing an entrepreneurship has shifted burden onto her. There’s a lot of picayune day-to-day busywork that stems from having two kids and living a life. While I’m a very involved dad when I’m home, there’s no doubt that my work responsibilities and travel wouldn’t be possible without her picking up my slack, so I’m very grateful. I’m also grateful to the tiny quirky community of non-traditional games people, most particularly the IndieCade festival and its organizers Stephanie Barish, Celia Pierce, and Sam Roberts. Thanks to this annual festival, we’ve made connections and friendships with awesome people who inspire us creatively and play games with us zestfully. Lastly I’ll thank my business partner Greg, who’s been my friend and my co-pilot through thick and through thin, through the good times and the current ones.