Ep 266 – Christopher Leon Price: Learning Life Lessons From Games

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Back in episode 257, you heard Christopher Leon Price’s #knowledgebomb on The Art of Losing. In this episode, we interview Christopher to understand how he came to appreciate the power of this lesson through a mixture of video gaming, appreciating Mixed Martial Arts, teaching children chess and having to try and teach Hunter Maats how to do audio. This last one, in particular, has proven to be particularly challenging. Fortunately, Christopher is a very patient and supportive teacher. There are lessons to be learned from every aspect of life. So far, because of my own biases, we’ve focused heavily on books and science. But games (from chess to Mixed Martial Arts to Megaman II) can teach you how to learn, unlearn and relearn. In fact, they may be better at doing that than an analogy about the FAA featured in certain books. 🙂


Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we'd run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It's exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O'Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan's #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let's the world see that there are no wizards...only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.


  1. Adam N. A. Reply

    I love the analogy of using games to learn how to lose, not only in playing games but *making* games. In game development circles, this is often referred to as “fail faster.” There are great videos on this in the Extra Credits game development youtube channel. I still wish you’d get some game developers to speak on the podcast. James Portnow of the aforementioned Extra Credits and Rami Ismail who co-created Nuclear Throne (a game that takes losing frequently to a new level) both do profound talks at game development schools and conferences and would be great fits. Please try reaching out to them or other prominent people in the field. They both get constant requests to do talks, so it might take more than a kindly worded letter, but they’re generally open to sharing their perspectives. I’ll do my part in asking but it’s gotta come from higher up and be in earnest.

  2. Bruno Ferreira Reply

    The audio was messed up. Tons of grain.
    Hunter please stop your “you know” and “right?”
    They are intellectual crutches and dilutes the power of your message. And it super annoying…

    1. Hunter "Toto" Maats Post author Reply

      Sorry about that, Bruno. It’s a terrible habit I picked up and the number one piece of feedback I get.

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