Actor Masi Oka does it all. The 39 year-old currently stars as Dr. Max Bergman in CBS police drama “Hawaii Five-0” and recently founded video game production company Mobius Digital, LLC.
Oka speaks three languages, has a reported IQ of 180 and was voted “Coolest Geek” at the Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards in 2007. He is also a lifelong gamer and recalls the Super Nintendo as one of the first consoles he fell in love with. His company launched its first mobile app, “Our Superhero,” this month.
“The basic concept of the game is that it’s a collaborative effort. The whole idea is the imagination of one person is limited. With more people, there are infinite impossibilities,” Oka told IBTimes in an interview on Monday.
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“It’s a different type of forced collaboration, like a two-player Mad Lib. It’s turn-based and a text-based game, and it makes you use your imagination.”
“Our Superhero” allows players to create their own superhero. Each player can add characteristics that alter the life and origins of the hero. The character can then be saved and shared with friends, who can build upon the hero and the storyline.
Oka added that the best superhero will be rendered as a real comic illustration once a month. To submit their hero, users simply have to hashtag their entry online, and a real artist will draw the superhero for free.
“It’s something that’s simple and fun. When you start playing it, the more friends you share it with, the more fun it gets,” he added. “What may be obvious to you may be completely new to someone else. This game gives you the freedom to create.”
Oka started his Hollywood career as a programmer for George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic. He worked on the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy and landed several guest TV appearances in the early 2000s, but it was his 2006 role as Hiro Nakamura in NBC show “Heroes” that gained him widespread recognition. It was then that his role as a talented actor with some serious smarts and geek credibility was established.
“There aren’t many gaming companies that are founded by actors. Most actors just lend their names. I’ve been trying to do some game design. This is a quick experiment. We wanted to see how people would react,” he added.
When it comes to the realm of video games, the actor discussed why chose to launch his company as an indie brand.
“The gaming industry has been taking a conservative approach, like the film industry. There used to be so many innovative, small games. Now it’s all about business and making money. People are always looking for big hits and franchises. But with indie games, you get to see the result in a couple of months.”
One of Oka’s favorite Super Nintendo games is 1995’s “Chrono Trigger,” and he hopes to one day create his own role-playing title, complete with puzzles and missions.
You can download “Our Superhero” for free in the iTunes app store.