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Welcome to Pinball Rules Podcast

Each episode Veteran Game Designer Joe Unger wanders the world discovering a different master of design each week and talks entertainment, interaction and the future of design.   Joined by a panel of experts from art and science he asks, what is it to design for humans?


Pinball, it’s as much of a lifestyle statement as it is a design philosophy. What we think of in 2015 as an Icon of the late 20th century, is more than the flashing lights and bells of the 1970s’. Our memory only celebrates the highest point of success for the game. But like all dynasties, pinball’s existence echoes through everything in our world today. Pinball Rules are a lesson to live by. A method of making. A blueprint for interaction.  

The Pinball Rules are an approach to Design focused on human interaction and play. The rules are:



And Mastery


S1E8 Design of a Rhyme

The Hip-hop, Science and language of Baba Brinkman.  Rap Artist and Playwright Baba Brinkman’s latest album ‘The Rap Guide to Religion’ is an exploration of how ideas, information and knowledge is transferred across time and culture. All these concepts are core to the practice of design, but how does a Hip Hop artist take hard science and design a rhyme for the masses? Baba shares how Hip Hop has evolved into one of the most popular communication tools on the planet and tells us just how sticky a concept can become. Find more at and purchase The Rap Guide to Religion:


S1E7 Collaboration Story

Matt Forbeck is best known for his work as an Author and Game Designer. His master curation on the Marvel Encyclopedia from DK Books and crafting of Halo Novels are fan favorites the world over. Other projects include his award winning works that span novels and games, all highlights in his prolific career.  Out of this experience with traditional writing, games and licensed properties, Forbeck has risen as a new kind of author. One that has mastered the line between creator and collaborator. Taking something once thought of as a burden, and making collaboration his greatest strength. More information can be found on Matt at his writing at .

S1E6 Writing Ponies

Working on an established property with huge fan base has challenges that most designers and writers are unprepared to face. For Writer, Actor, and Producer Josh Haber a diverse background and ability to put himself in the place of every member of the team has made him a powerhouse for the cultural phenomena that is My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

S1E5 Game Crowd

KickStarter and Crowd funding has fundamentally changed the way designers and businesses approach a project. No one knows this better than KickStarter’s Master of Games, Luke Crane. As a successful table top game designer with titles the like of Mouse Guard, Luke came to the KickStarter staff early as a games expert. Now, he plays a key role in the fundamental shift in the future design of the Games and Entertainment Industry. More information can be found on Luke at his game company site . His works in crowd funding can be found at

S1E4 Urban Design Lab

Cities are engines of human interaction. In the past year we’ve seen over half of the global population move from rural to urban lifestyles. In developed areas these numbers are set to reach 90% over the next two decades. This interaction, the new natural environment for humankind, is at the heart of the work done by Designer and Architect Mike Stepner’s. As Urban Designer, City Architect and now professor, Stepener oversees a practice called the ‘Urban Design Laboratory’ in San Diego, California.

S1 E3 Name Tag

When we think of Street Art we don’t jump to thinking about Branding, but the two are intimately intertwined. Dave Persue grew up in a time where personal branding was exploding across Southern California. Weather it was a spray can on a wall or a screen and a shirt, a new vision of Branding was rising up from the streets and Dave was quietly at the head of the charge. In this episode we talk about that connection and what it means to make a name. Dave Persue is an Artist, Brand Expert and Streetwear Design veteran. You can find more of his work at and on the streets across the world.


S1 E2 Divining Design

We find meaning in random things. For ages we’ve called this divination, but for Designer Chris Noessel these ancient actions have become meaning machines. In this episode host, veteran Game Designer Joe Unger and the Pinball Rules team talks the edge of art and science with Chris and how we’re divining meaning for new needs. In addition to his speaking events, you can find out more about Chris Noessel and his work at and follow him @ChirsNossel on twitter.

S1E1 Off To See The Wizard

It was Color Film and Television that made the Wizard of Oz a cultural Icon. The right story matched with the right way to interact with it defined an industry. A century later, Jack Guarnieri, a Pinball industry veteran has turned to Oz to revitalize what was thought of as a dying art. Pinball Rules Host and Design Thinker Joe Unger talks to Jack about why the Wizard of Oz and Pinball are the perfect match.





S1E11 Hub & Spoke



S1E12 Aayna Megnan




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Joe Unger

Joe Unger



Trisha Williams

Trisha Williams

Creative Commentary


Sergei Gepshtein

Sergei Gepshtein

Science Commentary


(c) 2015 Pigeon Hole Productions