Jake Blend is Generator’s arcade ninja. He has reached many mile markers with his creative work and always provides the Generator community with immense amount of I.T. help. It is quite telling that in High School he started a sci-fi club and he was voted “friendliest” and “helpful attitude” for life.
As a navy brat he went to Japanese school where he got to play with hammers and nails to build wood spacecrafts and run around like a cowboy, ninja, Superman, and Zorro. With creativity already kindling, he cleaned his first computer, an apple 2e, with a metal tipped vacuum.
I remember the electric arc and the smell…needless to say, I was grounded for killing the digital family member (the computer). But we got an IBM clone, where I played Dungeons and Dragons. I lost a 6 month saved game when our computer died so I taught myself to hack a new saved game and went through it for the story with perfect stats and max gold (hex file comparison, did not know the words at the time, just did it).
Went to UVM for Botany but felt it was too slow. I fixed computers for dorms, got through school by selling Simpson’s pure commercial free mixtapes, modding playstations, and solving whatever problems scientists could throw at me. During a long break, I continued to solve tech problems for a living, and combined that with glassblowing. I made my own colors with chemicals (blue from Borax and such, spun with a drill over molten style).
I also taught myself electrical engineering as needed. I am a born troubleshooter. I think I have been gamifying everything forever. Some say I don’t take life seriously, which I know can be annoying, but I try to have fun with whatever I’m doing. Always aiming for a high score, even if the “game” sucks or is rigged or I’m forced to play. I want to have fun.”
Jake Blend has recently made it into Gallery exhibits with Frog Hollow and Art of Horror. Through a proposal to the Generator community for an arcade community build, he received funding for a quick month long turnaround to make an arcade for Generator. He was also the winner of Road Pitch, an annual innovation competition. Jake Blend uses his mix of talents at The Archive (a local bar-cade) as “Pinball Wizard”.
“I recently reverse engineered and built a transcranial direct current stimulation (brain trainer) device for $40 worth of parts. The machine I created gets rented for $700 a week normally, and I hope to get the device in the hands of the needy, as it is used for post traumatic stress, addiction, and a variety of other uses. I know the circuit by heart and could build it out of easily available materials.
Of course, the greatest thing I’ve ever made is my daughter, Alexis. I am very proud to continue the Blend tradition of teaching anything and everything I can.
Generator took me in when I was feeling very alone and I realized a lot of things were holding me back, like my inner child being told to sit in the corner by authority during life lessons. Light in the darkness, only child with a now very large extended family that adopted me, people that saw some glimmer inside a chunk of coal and squeezed me into a diamond, uncut and raw but made me love my flaws, which I now call quirks.
As far as my future? The sky’s the limit, I love having different things to do, but the core remains the same. Gaming has become the biggest entertainment industry. We are working with indie developers to create custom cabinets for their games.”
Jake Blend is holding true to his high school title as friendliest helper. He contributes to Generator’s knowledge sharing and collaborative spirit!