NBA Jam’s Creator Really Did Set Stuff On Fire

NBA Jam’s Creator Really Did Set Stuff On Fire

You hopefully already know this, but a lot of the truly interesting stuff about games development (and game developers) comes not from the PR-managed machine of an upcoming title, but by scouring the medium’s past. Example: the following story about NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell.

In a great piece over on Kill Screen, Turmell gets talking about his past, including the fact he was earning $US10,000 a month as a teenager, that he was afraid to go into the basement and that he…liked to set stuff on fire.

I was really a pyromaniac. My buddy Elmer and I would walk through autumn, and we had matches. We’d flick matches into the leaves and then walk away for a certain amount of time before we’d turn around. Then we’d have to run back and put it out. We’d do this in the middle of the night, and we were always starting fires. I loved fire, so it’s ironic that the announcer for NBA Jam said, “He’s on fire.”

And just like that, those slam dunks take on a whole new meaning, whether the line’s inclusion was intentional or not.

Pre-Game Interview: Mark Turmell [Kill Screen, via Super Punch]


  • Useless piece of Trivia: For Hyper Magazine’s first issue, they covered NBA Jam and set a basketball on fire for the cover. Apparently they explode after a short while.

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