THE ORIGIN OF 8TH LEVEL ENTERTAINMENT
About six months ago, my childhood pals and I were at a cabin in the Poconos partaking in our usual antics: reminiscing about being teenagers, laughing until our faces hurt and playing board games. We discussed turning 40 this year and how it would be awesome to do something special to commemorate the occasion. Not just for ourselves, but for our families. We are the epitome of “brothers from another mother” and have been through it all together. Successes and failures. Marriages and divorces. Births and deaths. Yet, there was one stone that had yet to be unturned. We had never started a business together. Until now.
Despite our very different career paths — a doctor, a lawyer, a university head coach, a scientist, a film producer, and me the children’s book author — we share a common interest: playing games. Gaming brought us together some 20 years ago. It’s what kept us out of trouble in high school. While other kids were out partying on the weekends, we were crowded around a wooden table. Our only vice was our imagination, and we used it with reckless abandon.
We believe playing games was a major component in our individual successes. They taught us how to socialize, strive for success and be creative problem solvers.
So when it came time to figure out what our business venture would be, it was pretty much a no-brainer. We chose to create a company that produced games that not only we would enjoy, but that our children would enjoy as well. Our goal is to create products that will bring families together, bond friendships, and inspire creativity, just as we have shared together.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our company. We look forward to sharing with you the adventures that lie ahead!
WHO WE ARE
8th Level Entertainment, LLC is an independent game publishing company dedicated to producing high quality games for kids that inspire creative problem-solving — powered by imagination, not batteries.
Established in 2013, the seed for 8th Level Entertainment was planted over two decades before when a motley group of kids bonded around a wooden table scattered with paper, pencils, dice and an abundance of imagination.
As individuals, they matured into successful professionals: an award-winning children’s book author, a gastroenterologist who served with the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a railroad lawyer and former attorney for the Department of Justice, a multiple championship winning Head Coach, a scientist, and a member of the Producers Guild of America.
Still best friends and active gamers, they dreamed up a company that would create games for their children’s generation to provide the quality of entertainment and inspiration that was intrinsic to their own prosperity.
MEET THE TEAM
- Eric WightThe Professional Daydreamer
Eric Wight earns a living playing make-believe. Sometimes nice people even give him awards for it. His critically acclaimed children’s book series, Frankie Pickle, is being developed as an animated preschool series. As an animator, he’s worked for companies such as Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network. Other clientele include HBO, Universal Studios, Fox, Capitol Records, Mattel, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Marvel Entertainment and DC Comics. His kids think it’s perfectly normal that their dad spends all day in his pajamas drawing silly pictures.
- Chris GellesThe Mischief MakerChris Gelles has been making animation since he was seven years old. Since then, he’s become an award-winning animator, a card-carrying member of the Producers’ Guild of America, and a director/producer of FX for television, movies, and the web. He was also Lead Animator of Blue from the Emmy-winning preschool series, Blue’s Clues. For our international fans, Chris also played a strong hand in designing KFC Asia’s mascot, “Chicky,” an enormous chicken who endorses the eating of his own kind.
- Michael Alexis, Esq.The Voice of ReasonMichael Alexis is a railroad lawyer, but has never tied a damsel (in distress or otherwise) to railroad tracks. Michael is quite fond of damsels, being the father of three and married to another. Michael attended the College of William and Mary as an undergraduate, and the University of Virginia School of Law. In addition to working for railroads, Michael served as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a lifelong geek and gamer, and is most proud that each of his daughters can name all of the members of the Justice League.
- David OsanitschThe Handsome Hurdler David Osanitsch’s two greatest talents are running fast and yelling at people. He channeled his passions into becoming one of the winningest Head Coaches in Pennsylvania College Track & Field history. During his tenure at Shippensburg University, Dave has won more than 20 State Championships and has been named PSAC Coach of the Year 20 times. His students have broken more than 95 school records and the program has achieved 91 NCAA All-Americans and multiple NCAA Champions. When he is is not training his student athletes, he’s sprinting home to be with his beautiful wife and two children.
- John Boger, MDThe Guts WhispererDr. John Boger is a board-certified Gastroenterologist, who has practiced medicine in the United States Army for 11 years. He served two tours of combat, deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for service. Dr. Boger earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and completed his internship and residency of internal medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He and his wife, a family physician whom he met in medical school, are the parents of two children. One of his favorite pastimes is running in marathons while being chased by zombies.
- Dana (soon to be) WightThe Kitschy CrafterDana is passionate about exploring creative endeavors, helping people and being a mom. Her design esthetic can best be described as whimsically modern. She enjoys experimenting with many crafts, and is happiest when she is in the planning stages of a new project or scouring for vintage finds at a thrift store. She collects fonts like trading cards and her favorite color is rainbow. Dana has two young sons who love to play games by their own rules… just like their mom.
- Melissa TaylorThe Marketing MavenMelissa Taylor is an award-winning writer, educator, and PR/social media guru. She is also a fervent advocate for good books, literacy, and gluten-free baked goods. Her blog Imagination Soup is a PBS Kids VIP Blog and was selected as the Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine Best Reading & Book Blog in 2010. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Parenting, USA Today Health, The Writer, Scholastic Parent and Child, and Working Mother. With over 1.4 million followers, Melissa has literally written the book on Pinterest, titled Pinterest Savvy. Her favorite moments are watching her daughters crash into things because they're walking with a nose in a book.