Matt, Flaming Dice Reviews – Sam, thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Everyone at Flaming Dice Reviews sure appreciates it, and I know the readers do too!
Sam Healey – You are absolutely welcome, Matt! I completely appreciate you being interested in having me! I only hope you don’t see a dip in your readership when this gets posted… *wink*
Matt – You’ve done a lot of videos with Tom and Zee for The Dice Tower, and I personally find your interactions with them to be quite funny and charming. I find that your frequent heckling of the other two cast members is born of a closeness with them, and think that the more comfortable people are with each other the more they tend to dig at one another. Do you ever get flak for your video persona?
Sam – Absolutely! I get a lot of flak for how I am sometimes in our videos. Most of the time, it’s a huge misperception of who I am, and the relationship that I have with the other two. I’ve known Tom since Spring 1995, and have been good friends with him since that summer. I’ve known Zee for close to 5 years, now, and been good friends with him for about 4 years. I think people just don’t really get that when they react to some of my antics. That’s partially where the whole “Army of One” thing got started. You tell yourself not to read the negative comments, but then you find yourself reading them over and over again, and it feels like you’re the only one (or at least one of a minuscule number) that believes or feels the way you do. One of the hardest things to learn how to do is letting the negativity that people spew at you not stick. And unfortunately, there can be a lot of it. The question that I get the most from new contributors to our shows is how do we deal with the negative comments. I guess people feel that since their words aren’t spoken in person, that they’re somehow less hurtful. They should rethink that idea.
Matt – How many total hours a week would you estimate you are either making board game videos, painting miniatures and playing board/card/miniatures games?
Sam – We don’t do timesheets… *wink* I know that I’m working at least 40 hours a week. I can also say that it isn’t really a 9-5 kind of job. When we work at Dice Tower HQ, it is 9-5, but there are some days where I go home and work on something else. I have things at home that I work on, and when I’m at Tom’s, I’m unable to work on them. So, I have to do those things after leaving Tom’s. Zee and I work at Tom’s three days a week and at home the other two. The two days I’m working at home are also days that I have to get the kids to doctor appointments and so forth…so, yeah, there’s often not enough hours in the day. The lines between on the clock and off the clock definitely blur sometimes. For example, last Tuesday, after we got back from our weekly gaming event (around 11:30pm), I jumped on the camera to hammer out a couple of reviews of games hot from Essen (Carcassonne: Star Wars Edition and Raptor). I didn’t go to bed until about 2:30am. That doesn’t happen often, mind you, but every once in a while that’s “living the dream”.
Matt – What was the last game that you played? Who was it with?
Sam – The last games I played was this afternoon/evening. I played the introductory scenario of Shadows Over Normandie with my son, David. And I also played two games of the new Star Realms: Colony Wars with my daughter, Katherine. I’ll be doing reviews of both of them this week.
Matt – Besides doing reviews, Top 10 videos and your miniature painting videos for The Dice Tower channel is there anything you’re working on right now that you think people would be interested in knowing about?
Sam – I’m also working with Dan King (GameBoy Geek) with the revamp of The Dice Steeple. It’s an audio podcast about board gaming from a Christian perspective with an interest in bridging the gaps between world-views with open and free dialogue. To date, we’ve interviewed a youth pastor and his assistant in Kentucky that have a growing gaming group in their youth ministry. They started with 12 attendees and are now over sixty. We’ve also chatted with Bruno Faidutti, a self-proclaimed Marxist atheist about his inspirations, favorite games, and worldview, and in our most recent episode we talked with Patrick and Katherine Lysaght, co-designers of a biblically-themed game called Commissioned. Our next episode is being recorded next week, and we’ll be talking to Marty Connell of Rolling Dice and Taking Names. Our subject will be contentment in gaming. We usually try to have each new episode up during the first week of the month. If they’re interested, people can find the episodes here: (click The Dice Steeple image to visit the website)
Matt – What types of games would you like to see more of on the market? It can be a theme, a mechanic or another other form of categorization you wish!
Sam – Besides my jaunts into destruction and mayhem with all of my Ameri-thrash tendencies, my favorite genre of games is cooperative games…games where the players work together to accomplish a common goal…or maybe more of a team vs. team aspect. I don’t mean the social deduction games that seem to be currently prevalent. I mean games like Shadows Over Camelot, Battlestar Galactica, Specter Ops, and so on. Confrontation and conflict is great, don’t get me wrong, but I find that working together in a game can be highly rewarding, and some of my most memorable gaming experiences have come from just those kinds of games.
Matt – I understand from your videos that you are also a youth pastor. How many years have you been in the ministry?
Sam – I have been in the youth ministry in some capacity since about 1998. My wife, Dulcy, and I were married in 1997, and we’ve worked with the youth in whatever church we were in since then, in some way. Even when I wasn’t a youth pastor our first couple of years in Korea, I was teaching ESL and Bible to Korean nationals, age 5 all the way to high school, and working with an American pastor in Iksan, helping him grow a bi-lingual work. And in our one-year stay in California, I was an assistant pastor, but one of my main responsibilities was the youth group. So, the youth ministry, for me, has always been a very fluid ministry where my wife and I had to be rather flexible. And now, we’re finding that to be all too true, as our own boys, Michael and David, are now in the youth group in which I minister at South Dade Baptist Church.
Matt – Is there anything about Sam Healey (a beloved hobby or activity, an interesting fact) that we don’t get to see in your videos?
Sam – Well, first of all, I’ve never actually punched anyone in the throat…let’s just make that abundantly clear…thought about it, but never actually carried through. I have, however, actually slapped Zee, although by accident, while recording our segment for Boardgame Blender. And yes, I immediately felt very bad about it. Ummm…I love soccer and hockey! My favorite teams are Manchester United and the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m totally stoked that my Chicago Cubs are back in the hunt for a World Series appearance this year!! I spent each year of my high school career at a different high school…because we moved around a lot in those years. But other than that, I’m not really a fascinating person by any stretch. I’m a pretty common person with very common tastes.
Matt – Thanks again for answering these questions for us! Keep up the great work at The Dice Tower!
Sam – Thank you, Matt for having me! It was fun to navigate all those questions. We will continue to do the best we can at the Dice Tower. Thanks again!