Jon Beeler (Host of Radio is Lame, apPARENTly, Beyond the Pixels)
To the indie video game podcast community he’s known as Jonny Casino, to his friends and family he is Jon Beeler. A twelve year veteran of the US Navy, Jon spent much of his military career serving aboard submarines (4 years on the USS Cheyenne & 3.5 years on the USS Jimmy Carter). He now runs the Dacespace Studios podcasting network and hosts a variety of shows including Radio is Lame, which examines the ins and outs of being a content creator, and apPARENTly which features he and co-host Chelsey Capri discussing the rewards and challenges of being a parent.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“As a kid, my step dad always had PCs with games around. I know I started with some educational games, but, honestly, who counts those as your first game? B.C.’s Quest, on the Commadore 64, is the first real game I remember playing. My mom brought home the C64 one summer, from the school she was working at. My grandparents got a NES (Pronounced Nintendo) when it first came out, and I would play Adventures of Lolo with them. When we finally received one, I played Super Mario Bros. (first game I ever beat) and Legend of Zelda (second game I ever beat).”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“The Zelda series is my all-time favorite. I often go back and replay many of those. Star Fox is another big one for me, even Zero. I missed a lot of major games during the NES/SNES years due to not having gaming magazines to expose me to them. I have recently started falling in love with 2D Metroid games and Castlevanias. Outside of Nintendo, I love horror games, specifically Resident Evil. If a game can make my heart pound, it’s a winner. Life is Strange has been a more recent favorite game. I had to pause and walk away for about 20 minutes while I pondered how I wanted to make the final choice. That game pulled on the heart strings.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“I make beer a lot. I spent a lot of time researching and “perfecting” a couple IPA and stout recipes. I also podcast as much as possible. I do a couple video game related ones, but I also do ones that are not about gaming. Sitting behind a microphone is when all the world’s problems go away, and I can just be in a different world. Great for escapism.”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“My daughter does not game. At most, she’ll play Mario Party with us. I game with my son a lot. For a while, it was Mario and Minecraft. It amazing watching how his mind grew with those games. He went from being able to either run or jump in Super Mario Bros. U, to being able to beat the game. The building he would construct in Minecraft always showed so much creativity. Now that he’s 7, we play a lot of other games together. We play a lot of Fortnite. It’s a fun way to hang out and be a team. We’ve played Rocket League, The Escapist, and even Goat Simulator. We recently played through Humans Fall Flat, and that was so much fun.”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“I work shift work, so I end up with a lot of days off during the week. That gives me ample time to play the games I don’t want to expose my kids to. I also stay up later than most of my family, so gaming from 10PM to midnight is not uncommon. My job, in general, makes finding gaming time easy. Outside of that, I end up playing a bit of what my son wants, while my wife and daughter hang out and do their own things, in the same room.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“It’s difficult to pick a proudest moment. I think it’s a lot of the small moments. A big one with my daughter is with how inclusive she is with everyone. There was a girl at her school who was often being excluded due to looks. My daughter always brought her into the group or would step away from the group to do something with her. My son always blows me away with how he uses his mind. This could be him solving a puzzle in a game, or just using phrases and understanding topics that should be way over his head. You can’t say anything around that kid without it being used against you at some point, and done correctly.”
You can find all of Jon’s shows at the Dacespace Studios podcast network.