252 – Good Egg Interview with MNC’s Chandana Ekanayake – Chickey Cantor

Sometimes you read a story that is just filled with all kinds of goodness. This is one of them.

For those who have been following our flock you know that when an author has completed an interview with me they then have had the honor of having one of our chickens named after them. As a result we have in our flock, Chris-Bohjalian, Jodi-Picoult, Meg-Cabot, Janet-Evanovich, Judy-Blume, A.S.-King, Sy-Montgomery, Lee-Goldberg, and Karen-Romano-Young chickens.

We affectionately refer to these birds as our “literary-chicks”. They are incredible ambassadors for the backyard poultry world as well as for the kids-should-read-these-really-great-books world. As many of you know, our chickens are so much more than “just” chickens.

The other night at the dinner table, my son Griffin was talking about an online video game he had been playing called Monday Night Combat and which he had convinced several members of his F.I.R.S.T robotics team to try. Two members of the team (brothers) were going to buy the game but then they got into a car accident (no one was hurt and apparently – according to Griffin anyway – it was not the boys’ fault). All extra cash that might have gone to any games was now going to go into truck repairs.

It’s a tough lesson but it’s the way of life boys. Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned.

Griffin planned on writing to the gaming developers to see if they would freely give two game codes out for his friends. It was a nice gesture, a really nice gesture on the part of my son but the pragmatist in me had to ask, “Sweetheart what’s in it for them? What do they get out of giving you these codes? What would be their motivation?”

“Is there something you can offer in return for these codes?” I asked Griffin, “Can you offer to help with some sort of game development?” – an area he wants to go into.

“Mom, I’m a High School senior – these guys are … game developers!”

To which I replied with my standard worn-to-the-bone-over-the-years response– “Well you’re a smart kid, I’m confident you can come up with something.”

A while later Griffin called me to his room to read a letter he had written to the developers. In it he had offered them the opportunity to name one of our chickens anything they wanted and have an interview on this blog in return for the two codes.

“Now you’re talking, I told him.” He sent the email with my blessings.

The developers agreed to the request and sent two game codes which have already been distributed and the boys are all now spending many (many) happy hours online locked in mortal combat.

In return, we are now have a Monday Night Combat named chicken and an interview.

I’m deviating from my normal author themed interviews for two reasons:

  • First of all, my son Griffin is a class act. When he made the proposition to the developers he indicated that even if they didn’t send the codes, he would still be buying the game for his friends. He said that because that’s what considerate friends do.
  • Second, the game developers are a class act. They didn’t have to send free game codes but they recognized the uniqueness and intent of the request. They were reaching out to their gaming community. They did it because that’s what considerate game developers do.

In the game there is an announcer whose name is Mickey Cantor. An online description of Mickey has this to say about the character:

Mickey Cantor, AKA “Mr. Controversy”, has survived six assassination attempts (two of them successful) to become the “most insightful MNC announcer in history”. At some point in his past, he worked as a male dancer. Mickey has a checkered history including several personal scandals and arrests for non-violent criminal behavior. From his announcements in-game, it can be determined that he is divorced, and may have a gambling problem. He is currently calling games out of his prison cell in Mexico as part of a plea agreement.”

No one ever sees Mickey but he’s an integral part of the game, a life force as necessary as the intake of breath.

Given free reign over their chicken’s name, the developers have decided to name her “Chickey Cantor” (okay high points right there for a great sense of humor). And everyone is so tickled with the idea of a chicken living in New Hampshire with the name of “Chickey Cantor” that there is even talk of incorporating her into the game.

How cool are these people? Definitely chicken-worthy.

So bottom line, mamas – go ahead and let your sons (and daughters) grow up to be game developers. It’s not a bad gig. Gaming is not all just about fighting and weapons and mass annihilation, it’s also clearly about inventiveness, imagination, looking out for those within your community, and most importantly, heart.

That’s not such a bad way to live your life.

Allow me to introduce the newest named member of our flock and truly one of the best “good eggs” I’ve heard about in a long time:

Chickey Cantor

MNC's Chickey Cantor

Good Egg Interivew with Chandana Ekanayake (just call him Eka (eh-ka) Executive Producer / Art Director Uber Entertainment

What is the best advice an older relative or family member gave you?

My great uncle Bante G who’s been a Buddhist Monk since he was 12 (he’s in is early 80s now) has an amazing perspective on life. He approaches everything with a child like open mind and lets things unfold without judgment. It’s something I try to do but fail more often than I like :)

Here’s a painting I did of him several years ago:

If you were given one wish to use anyway you wanted, what would you wish for?

I would wish for it to be granted to someone else. I’m a firm believer in earning my way in life.

If you were allowed the use of a large billboard over a well traveled road, what would you put on the billboard?

Sometimes it’ll get bumpy but there’s always a smooth patch. Enjoy the ride.

What’s the passion that drives you to get up every morning?

I find I’m the most creative in the morning and I’m always excited to try out ideas and see how those ideas unfold as the day goes by. It helps that I get to work with a talented and highly motivated team of individuals at Uber. Also I start every morning hanging out with my two boys and that’s always entertaining.

What is your ideal dinner? What would you eat and with whom would you share it?

It’s always an ideal dinner when I’m with my lovely wife. We have eclectic tastes and like new things so I would say the ideal dinner would be at a place where we can sample Ethiopian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Sri Lankan, Hawaiian, Moroccan, and French all in one place preferably with a great sunset view looking over the Pacific ocean. That’s not too much to ask right?

Do you have any favorite chicken stories or memories?

I take my two boys (Aidan age 5, Cody age 3) to a nearby place called Country Village in Bothell, WA. It’s an eclectic outdoor country themed shopping center with train rides, ponds, and open areas for feeding ducks and chickens. We go there pretty frequently and we’ve gotten to know some of the local chickens and their various personalities. One day while the boys were at the playgrounds near there, I watched a nine year-old boy approach one of the more rougher looking chickens and tried to poke him with a stick. The first time the chicken, we’ll call him Bruiser, just walked away. The kid kept following him and tried to poke Bruiser again. Again, Bruiser tried to scurry away. This kid was highly amused and decided to poke him again. But this time Bruiser had enough of this kid and started chasing him back. He got close to this kid who was getting a little confused and started to peck at his ankles. The boy was just stupefied and didn’t move. Bruiser kept pecking at him, drawing blood until the kid started crying and called for his mom. I decided to step in, moved the kid from Bruiser and escorted him to his mother while Bruiser went back to enjoying his walk. I’m pretty sure this kid learned a valuable lesson. Just because its a chicken doesn’t mean it’s chicken.

Chickey Cantor

About Monday Night Combat

The game is called Monday Night Combat, rated T, it is described as:

“Monday Night Combat for Xbox LIVE Arcade and Steam is a class-based, third-person shooter… and the most popular lethal sport of the future! It blends intense combat, finishing moves, and game show-like challenges and rewards to produce an action experience unlike any other. Why fight for “honor” or “duty” when you can fight for the real American dream: cash, fame and endorsements?”

If you watch the promo video, you’ll see that this is definitely one game with lots of action.

MNC sells for 14.99, a Monday night Combat 4-Pack sells for 44.97 (kudos to the guy who came up with the .97 cent price). It can be purchased here.

Uber Entertainment, Inc. is a privately held video game development company headquartered in beautiful downtown Kirkland, WA. Founded in March of 2008 by a veteran team of developers, Uber Entertainment is working on an amazing blend of awesome technology and innovative gameplay. Currently, they are developing top secret cutting edge technology and games that are sure to have a huge impact on the next decade of game development.

Thanks to all you guys at Uber Entertainment for being such good eggs. Job well done.

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13 Comments

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chicken fun, Chicken things, Gaming and chickens, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids

13 responses to “252 – Good Egg Interview with MNC’s Chandana Ekanayake – Chickey Cantor

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