Cory Anotado, ‘10: A career in digital arts and game shows

Features

Elizabeth McLaughlin, Editor

Header Image: “Jeopardy!”

As a kid, his grandparents entertained a constant loop of game shows, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Needless to say, such exposure nurtured an infatuation with game shows for Cory Anotado, ‘10. Over time, the La Salle alum has explored his passion via his hit blog, BuzzerBlog, and has also appeared on numerous game shows, from “Wheel of Fortune” to “The Chase” to “Jeopardy!” Nowadays, Anotado works for Dreamscape Marketing, a creative agency based in Baltimore that specializes in connecting businesses in the addiction treatment industry with those who need help the most. He also does some freelance graphic design, and has even designed a card deck that enables users to play multiple different games.

Anotado started BuzzerBlog in early 2005, before he started as a freshman at La Salle. His motivation was to create something that “reflected the modern game show fan’s sensibilities.” Anotado found that all of the game show news online was “written by a person who had an undying loyalty to old-school game shows, and who treated newer game shows with a haughty sense of disdain.” As the avid game show lover he is, he saw an underserved market — and opted to serve it himself. Since then, the blog has grown into an impressive, living artifact of the game show industry, employing a staff of writers who share Anotado’s passion. The staff includes Alex Davis, an old friend whom Anotado met through the game show fandom. Other staff members are Christian Carrion and Bob Hagh, two of Anotado’s closest and oldest friends. According to Anotado, his staff share similar visions for their blog, but each member carries their own unique sensibilities and viewpoints that enrich the site.

BuzzerBlog has grown to serve millions of viewers interested in the game show industry and culture. Over time, Anotado and his staff have had to adjust to their growing following. “As our audience has grown, so has our obligations — we understand that we’re speaking to a larger audience. It’s never changed our core emotions, just taught us empathy and wisdom.”

In addition to running a blog on the industry, Anotado has ample first hand experience being on game shows. He recalls filming “Wheel of Fortune” at the Wells Fargo (then Wachovia) Center, right in his backyard. He also appeared on “The Chase,” setting the record for the highest single-day winnings at $180,000. But it wasn’t easy; Anotado was paired with “two of the smartest people [he knows,]” a circumstance he recalls as “absolute kismet.” Most recently, he appeared on “Jeopardy!” alongside record-breaker Amy Schneider.

“Jeopardy!”

With all of his experience writing game show literature and competing on the shows themselves, Anotado has developed some hot takes on the industry as a whole. For one, “‘Wheel of Fortune’ has been boring for about 15 years.” (I couldn’t agree more.) He says that they need to do something; he suggests putting a video screen in the Wheel. Anotado also mentions that Bob Barker was way creepier than you remember; as someone who is only familiar with Drew Carey’s “The Price Is Right,” I’ll take his word for it. In fact, I was a HUGE fan of “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal” — I’ll admit that I even played hooky once or twice just to watch them live. But Anotado insists that most of the game shows you liked as a kid are actually not as good as you think they were… all those “sick” days for mediocre TV…

Lastly, Anotado opines that the absolute best video game versions of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” were for the Wii. I cannot argue with him here; I stand by virtually everything that was ever made for the Wii.

Through it all, Anotado has kept in mind the Lasallian values that are so thoroughly instilled in our community here at 20th and Olney. His communication classes taught him the ins and outs of video editing; English classes gave him the writing background he needed “to become an actual real-live New York Times and Wall Street Journal-quoted journalist.” He stresses that without the digital art department, he wouldn’t be where he is today. The classes he took in that department taught him not only the technical and artistic skills he uses in his career, but also gave him the experience to deal with real-world art and design situations.

He also recalls his time as our very own Kicks editor of The La Salle Collegian, a position currently held by my good friend, Claire Kunzier. As the Kicks editor, Anotado once made a free version of La Salle “Monopoly,” where readers could cut the board out of the paper and then go to the myLaSalle server space to download money and cards to print out.

His advice to his fellow creatives: you are your biggest asset; specifically, the way you view the world is different from anyone else. “There’s no one who sees the world exactly like you. Design, especially — it’s art doing work. You get to make the art, and then you get to make it do the work.” It’s clear that Anotado is a master at making art do the work, as evidenced by his work for chalkboards at local bars to large interactive installations for Airbnb and video games for MTV. What’s more, Anotado encourages young creatives to find their motivation and stamina. For him and his friends at BuzzerBlog, what keeps them going is their fans and core audience, as well as the industry professionals who respect and admire what they do. Speaking of industry professionals, Ken Jennings once interviewed Anotado for his book, “Brainiac;” an interview Anotado conducted from La Salle’s very own WEXP studio in the Union.

To game show experts and those entirely unfamiliar with the industry, it is clear that Anotado has built an impressively creative career for himself, a career which started before he even stepped foot on La Salle’s campus. It was Anotado’s innate love for game shows that planted the seed for his fascinating career; La Salle nurtured this passion and helped Anotado build a creative, rewarding life for himself and his community.

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