What do you do in the industry?
I’m Chief Creation at Identity Games. So I get to invent myself, with my team and I do our Inventor Relations.
What is your claim to fame in the industry?
Haha, I still consider myself to much of a rookie in this industry so I don’t have a claim to fame yet but I’m very proud of Boom Boom Balloon and Escape Room.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
For me it was the childhood dream. Big was my favorite movie and to the frustration of my parents and teachers I turned everything into a game. I literaly turned tests at school into games and emptying the dishwasher was also a favorite. it cost a few dishes, it never made life easier (especially for my parents and teachers), but it always made life more fun.
During my time at university I started making my first real games and visiting toy fairs, so basically working in this industry was the only option for me, I suck at everything else.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with the team at Identity Games, I love the fact that there all these designers, developers and engineers here who can literally turn figments of my imagination into reality! I love seeing our games on shelves, especially in other countries.
What and/or who inspires you?
I get inspired by meeting and talking to the rockstars from the industry, people like Michael Kohner and Reyn Guyer. I’m also inspired by Gary Larson, a cartoonist who made the Farside. The way his mind works is simply amazing! I read his cartoons and stories daily. My dad is also an inspiration, he always told me that I had to follow my dreams and do what I love.
What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
That’s almost impossible to choose. I guess I would have to say my favorite toys were Lego an GI Joe, my favorite games was Fireball Island!
Where did you grow up and how did that influence who you are today?
I spent most of childhood years in Montreal Canada. We were always watching and playing sports, (especially street hockey and baseball). In the winters when it was too cold to go outside we played board games for hours and hours. I most definitely got my love for games there. My Dutch friends all blame the fact that I hate losing (I mean really hate losing) because of my Canadian roots.
Do you have any kiddos?
I sure do, 2 boys. Tobi is 8 and Viggo is 5, They are both an inspiration as well. We invented Poopyhead together!
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I have many guilty pleasures, costume parties, Bonny Tyler “Total Eclipse of the heart’, Notting Hill. I’m actually planning on giving a costumed party for my next birthday themed guilty pleasures!
Hugs or Kisses?
I’m a hugger!
What are your hobbies?
I host pub quizzes. It’s an evening full of senseless Trivia, show tunes and music, it’s basically a big party.
I host it with some friends and we perform at festivals and parties, we always have a blast.
I also like to test my creative skills outside the industry. Last year for instance, I came up with the idea for a TV show. It was a TV show called The Amsterdam Project. We gave 5 homeless people € 10.000 to see if they could help themselves now that the system had failed. We documented them for a year, 4 out of 5 made it off the street.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
That’s just the thing, I don’t want to grow up. I still feel like the child I was when I was a kid, the difference is that now I’m a kid with grown up responsibilities. When my parents and teachers told me to grow up, I responded that I wouldn’t be any good at my job if I did.