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Mike Gray
United States
East Longmeadow
Massachusetts
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designer
Name
Michael Gray
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Mike Gray (I)
Michael L. Gray
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Michael Gray is a game designer who rose to become the Senior Director of Adult and Family Game Design and later the Senior Director of Worldwide Concept Acquisition for Games at Hasbro. He used to work in advertising and data processing for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota. At the newspaper, he also reviewed new boardgames before Christmas. Although he played chess in high school and played bridge in college for money, he didn't start working in the field of games until 1977 when he was essentially asked to design a few boardgames games for a job interview at Milton Bradley. In 1978, he started working for Milton Bradley and designed 36 games for them in three years. He was then lured away from Milton Bradley in 1981 to work for TSR when he met Gary Gygax at the New York Toy Fair. At TSR he worked in the fields of game design, marketing, and book acquisition. One of his notable achievements was hiring Tracy Hickman after finding promise in Tracy's writing and imagination. At TSR Mike managed the game designers, designed the Fantasy Forest boardgame, wrote two branching adventure books, and designed two published D&D adventure modules. He left TSR to return to Milton Bradley in 1984, where he continued to design games including Shogun, Fortress America, Omega Virus, Mall Madness and Dream Phone. He became a manager in 1990 and began to share his expertise with young designers. In 1998 he managed the Avalon Hill games effort which produced ten big boxed games, including Acquire, Cosmic Encounter, Diplomacy, History of the World, and the first two Axis & Allies expansion. Mike travels to the game fairs in Essen, Nuremberg, New York and London and to Alan Moon's Gathering of Friends. He owns thousands of games and is a long-time friend of game designers James M. Ward, Reiner Knizia, and Wolfgang Kramer. He is quoted as saying that games are "togetherness in a box".

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