Episode 23: AnnMaria De Mars – 7 Generation Games – Creating Customized Games Reflecting a Community’s Heritage and Forming New Connections for the Future

What’s your story? Everyone has a story to tell, but some people have challenges finding a way to tell it.

My guest today is AnnMaria De Mars.  After a stint in juvenile hall, AnnMaria ran away from her last foster home at age 15 and—with a fake ID—got a job and an apartment. By age 19, she had her Bachelor’s degree and by 21 she had her MBA. 

She was the first American to win a world judo championship.  She then retired from competition to earn her Ph.D., became a professor, and finally quit the university to start her first business after the death of her husband. 

AnnMaria has founded four companies, raised four children, been one of Forbes 40 Women to Watch Over 40, is a Next Generation Leader of the International Game Developers Association Foundation, and is an AARP Purpose Prize Winner. 

She and her daughter, Ronda Rousey, are the only mother-daughter combination in the International Sports Hall of Fame.

In this episode, we will learn about:

  • AnnMaria’s early challenges and early accomplishments
  • The value of telling stories through games
  • The supportive mindset versus the competitive mindset
  • And more!

Thanks again for listening to the Humanitarian Entrepreneur podcast!  If you enjoyed this episode and know someone who has a story to tell, please share this episode with them. Together we can change the world on our own terms, question everything, and prepare our next generation of humanitarian entrepreneurs.

Enjoy my conversation with AnnMaria!

In This Episode:

[1:54] – We are introduced to AnnMaria De Mars and learn what was going through her head when she took a leap of faith going out on her own.

[3:20] – Self-esteem comes from overcoming a difficult challenge in life.

[4:44] – How did AnnMaria navigate her early life to accomplish such major milestones?

[7:05] – AnnMaria explains why starting her business felt like pushing water uphill.

[8:55] – We hear about AnnMaria’s first business endeavor.

[9:42] – AnnMaria talks about her company and the games they make for schools that mainly started out serving Native American students.

[12:04] – People started reaching out to AnnMaria asking her team to make games fulfilling all types of educational needs.

[13:15] – If Tiffany were to make a game, what would it be about?

[15:00] – Most people are more creative than they believe they are, according to AnnMaria. 

[16:11] – AnnMaria reveals what she found out in her focus groups.

[18:44] – The importance of bringing a supportive mindset rather than a competitive mindset in the gaming landscape.

[21:21] – Everyone has things they are passionate about.  

[22:00] – Funding today still feels like pushing water uphill.  AnnMaria explains why. 

[24:41] – AnnMaria shares how we can get ahold of her and what it takes to build a game with her company.

[27:31] – Everyone has a story and games are a great way to get that story out.


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