Who is Simon Cooke? | Accidental Scientist

Who is Simon Cooke?

Good question, and I’m glad you asked.

Simon Cooke is officially (by profession) a software engineer working in games development at Microsoft in the Xbox Advanced Technology Group. And no, I don’t speak for Microsoft in any official capacity on this blog. Never have, never will. In fact, most of the time I avoid Microsoft-related topics for just that very reason.

There’s also a wikipedia page about me, which you can find here.

So that’s the dry version. What else?


I’m 39 years old, born in 1975 in Manchester, England. I moved to the US in 1997, and shortly afterwards moved to Seattle in 1998, which is one of the coolest places on the planet (except for the pollen, which right now is killing me).

I’ve got a physics degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology – the oldest University in Manchester, and one that now no longer exists since it merged with the University of Manchester a few years ago. May it rest in peace.

Over the years I’ve been a:

  • Freelance journalist – writing for Your Sinclair magazine, Internet Today, Internet & Comms Today, Net User, How To Get Online, .net and Arcane
  • Graphic designer. I’ve done trade-show stands, brochures, product logos, business cards, the lot. I designed this site for Frogchildren Studios, for example.
  • Team leader & project manager, software architect, programmer, you name it, for Surreal Software/Midway Entertainment, Sierra Online, Microsoft, netFusion ltd & inc
  • Director of Engineering and Business Development Manager for X-Ray Kid Studios
  • Filmmaker with my own film company – Popcorn Films – which is currently in mothballs, but I’ve done editing, screenwriting, fx work, audio, grip, a 5-second cameo, producing…
  • I’ve spoken at GDC twice now, with the highest-rated talk in their Producer Boot Camp track at GDC 2012. I also co-ran the Gamefest 2011 Producer & Biz-Dev track, and put together event management phone apps (Microsoft @ GDC, Gamefest Assistant) for Windows Phone.
  • I’m most well known for writing for Your Sinclair magazine, and for my work on the SAM Coupé home computer, which in the scheme of things only a few people (300,000?) ever had, but I was possibly the most well known programmer for that system.
  • I’ve worked on a bunch of games, including Skyrim, This is Vegas, The 99, Prince of Persia (SAM Coupé port), Lemmings (SAM Coupé), Parallax, Exodus, 18 different prototypes/designs for Microsoft, Xotica, Tornado Outbreak, The Suffering: Ties That Bind, Stranglehold, Area 51: Blacksite, Wheelman, Kinect Adventures… and more… (to varying degrees).

I’m 36 right now, have a gorgeous wonderful intelligent wife (Darci) and a gorgeous wonderful intelligent 2-year daughter (Alexandra – aka Lexi) old living with me. And I’m lucky enough to also have a gorgeous wonderful intelligent 19-year old stepdaughter (Desirae) as well. These people keep me sane, or if not sane, interested in seeing how everything turns out. There’s also my fantastic family back home in England (Dad, Claire, Gareth, Richard and my nieces and nephews), who I never get to see often enough since moving away. (Not to mention all my good friends back in Blighty, and my extended family). This truly is one of the few parts of moving to another country that I regret. The others I can fix by visiting the British food sections of local stores to score some Maltesers.

So that’s pretty much the long and the short of it. Feel free to ask questions by posting a comment below, and I’ll update this page to answer them.

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