Game Industry Startup Co-Founder's Quest to Become a Real Gamer

I have always been around gamers, but I've never been one... until now.

Editor's Note: Please give a warm welcome to Andrew, one of the co-founders of GameWisp!

There Are Gamers... and Then There's Me.

I have been a lot of things in my short life. I’ve  been an athlete (if you call riding benches athleticism), a writer, a musician, a composer, a student, the Chick-fil-a cow (no, it’s not actually me in the picture, but I was in one of those costumes every Tuesday night my senior year of  high school), an amateur balloon artist, and most recently, an attorney.

But to this point I have never been a gamer.

I tried to be a gamer when I was younger.

I can still remember booting up Rebel Assault 2 on DOS because my computer was too antiquated to play it in Windows. But that lasted until I got stuck on a level that, for the life of me, I couldn’t beat. (It was the level where the task is to maneuver a YT-1300 freighter out of the facility. I guess my hand just wasn’t steady enough, because I always crashed into something). Right then, any hope I had of becoming a gamer early in life dwindled fast. My parents didn’t  believe in televisions when I was growing up, so console gaming was definitely out.    

My friends were gamers.

As I got older, my best friends were gamers, the kind who have LAN parties, and know all of the appropriate lingo. I’ve picked up a bit here and there, but for the most part I feel illiterate in those conversations. In fact, at the first LAN party I ever attended, I spent much of my time playing ping pong and at the second, I read the majority of a Harry Potter book (not sure which one…The Half-Blood Prince maybe?). To be sure, I played my fair share of Halo in college… and died well more than my fair share of times. By the time I graduated, I was a fair hand driving a warthog, and had the most wheelman achievements of anybody… but I wasn’t great one on one and my skills with a sniper rifle were sadly lacking.

I helped found a game industry company.

Once college was over, I did what any relatively smart liberal arts major does:  I went to graduate school.  One hundred and fifty grand later, I stepped out of law school with a juris doctorate and a burning desire to do something more creative than legal research.  The opportunity presented itself in the form of a collaboration with the guys that I had attended those LAN parties with back in high school and college;  they were putting together a startup (later named GameWisp) that would let PC gamers back up data, share game saves and other content from their games. That seemed like an interesting idea, and somewhere that my skills could come in handy, so I joined up.

But I still wasn't a gamer.

But there is something that just seems so wrong about a co-founder of a company based around PC game content being illiterate in the ways of gaming. So after a lifetime of feeling outside that particular loop, I have decided to take the plunge.

I'm going to fix that.

I am going to venture forth into the realm of gaming and see where I end up. As I begin this new chapter in my life, I want to invite you to follow along. If you aren’t yet a gamer, maybe this will inspire you to become one. If you are a gamer, maybe you can remember back to when you were first discovering what it was like to experience vast new worlds with adventure and intrigue and challenge. Whatever your motivation, I sincerely hope you keep reading, because I think the concept of a 26-year-old guy just beginning to try his hand at something his friends have been doing their entire lives might just be a lot of fun for all of us.

And so we begin.

A couple of months back (before I decided to start this little journey), I bought a new iMac. As a consistent fan of Apple products, this seemed like a solid step for a guy who spends most of his computer time checking email, watching Netflix, and filling up white space in Microsoft Word. But as those of you who follow Apple products know, that particular purchase was not cheap. So, for the foreseeable future, that is what I’ll be using for this foray into gaming. 

I had always heard that the gaming landscape for Mac was limited. While it is more limited than PC, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many games have Mac capability. About a month ago, I picked up Knights of the Old Republic (a game I remember watching friends play, but I never got around to playing myself) and Team Fortress 2. I played a bit on each of these, but the Steam summer sale has really been my catalyst for building my catalog of games. I picked up Borderlands 2, Half Life 2, Portal, and Sid Meier’s Civilization V. I also grabbed Torchlight 2 from a few weeks ago, but I haven’t installed that one yet. So those are the games you can expect to see posts about in the near future. 

Thanks for Stopping By… Let’s Do it Again Sometime!

Anyway, so there you have it. The quest begins. I’ll be updating this on a weekly basis with thoughts about the games that I am currently playing and the experience of joining the gaming community later in life. But for now, I have a question for all of you.  While I have a few games already, what are some of the games that I need to be playing to really get the gamer experience?  

And a final shameless plug: If you haven’t checked out GameWisp yet and you’re a PC gamer, you are missing out. The application  is great, and the potential to share game saves and other content  is really exciting. So, check it out when you get a chance. Alright  folks, I’m out. I’ll be back with more adventures in discovering  gaming soon!

Featured Contributor

I am a co-founder of GameWisp, Inc. and an enthusiastic newcomer to desktop gaming. Check us out at

Published Feb. 8th 2018
  • Michael Anderson
    Featured Contributor
    I suggest you pick up Starcraft 2, as well. Not sure why I haven't thought of that for you yet, but I think you would love it. Especially since it is completely all about the strategy and has an amazing story...

    In fact, I think i have my copy of Starcraft 1 laying around somewhere that you could play the single player for. It is awesome and is worth all of your time. All of it.
  • Jamie K
    Featured Contributor
    Welcome! I'll have to check out GameWisp. It's actually pretty cool to see someone getting into gaming, and admitting to their obvious deprived life before this! ;)

    I bet after this post, you probably will have a list long enough to last you a whole year's worth of time! Mac def has less options; as someone who owns a mac and a really crappy PC (only recently), I know what you are about to go through. However, things are coming a long way with games and Mac these days. I feel like more and more devs are trying to make their games compatible for Macs also.

    Let's see...there is also EVE online, LOTRO, LoL, WoW....hmmm...ok I'm going a little MMO crazy there but haha.
  • Si_W
    As an average gamer myself, I think the key is having a mix of different genres to play first so that you can find what you like. I would agree with some of Germ's list such as Alan Wake, the AC series (even 3) and Kingdoms of Amalur. I say some as I haven't played any of the rest. On top of that I must ultimately recommend the Tomb Raider reboot as this is the first game I have ever completed and I've been gaming on and off since the ZX81. Bioshock Infinite will probably be the second.

    I would seriously consider a bit of Command & Conquer and Battlefield 3, but that's mainly because I love playing the Battlefield series and sucking at it (my k/d ratio is about 0.72 and i can't fly anything).

    The key, for me, is not to worry about whether you're good, but whether you're having fun.
  • Germ_the_Nobody
    Gamewisp sounds pretty cool!

    Is this for Mac only or PC also? I saw Borderlands 2 but I don't know if that's the Mac Version.
    Tomb Raider definitely. Kingdoms of Amalur, Alan Wake is a must, Alice: Madness Returns - beautiful insanity and totally fun, The Swapper, Assassins Creed! (1 through Revelations, 3 wasn't so good, unless you are really interested in History), Indigo Prophecy, and Max Payne 3. I'm sure I could come up with more. Those are games I think will give you a feeling of experiencing them.

    If you want something just for fun there's also, Deadlight, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, Anomaly, Sonic Generations, Dreamkiller, Bullestorm, and The Darkness II. These are just particular ones I chose from my enormous Steam list. I have 100 other games installed that Steam just freakin lost on my Library so I have to add them all again. Otherwise I would probably have more suggestions.

    Torchlight 2 is really cool and Portal is a pleasure and I'm not even a big puzzle fan. (Portal 2 has more personality.) =)
  • Stephen Johnston
    Hey Andrew! Welcome to the site. I really enjoyed talking to you all at Pax this year. I hope things are going well for you all!
  • Andrew Wynans
    Featured Contributor
    Thanks! Glad to be here. Thanks for making this available. I really appreciate the support and comments from the editors. GameWisp is doing well. The beta is open and we had another great event at RTX over the 4th of July weekend, so we are pretty excited about the growth we are seeing right now.

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