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Get To Know High Score – Derek Faraci!

Every family has a snarky uncle. The one who has a quip for everything and those quips are usually only funny to him. Still, he says them, and he giggles to himself afterward while everyone else tries to figure out just what the hell he’s making a reference to.

For High Score, Derek fills that role. When he isn’t working to make sure High Score’s parties run smoothly, Derek is busy finding ways to bring up the Marx Brothers, the Flash, or some other pop culture tidbit that no person should have trapped in their brain. Raised on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and video games, Derek and his beard is probably the guy you see most often if you come to High Score or to any of our off-site events.

Before High Score, Derek spent nearly two decades working in games. Starting off as a tester for Activision, he moved his way up to a leadership role, working on some of the biggest game franchises of all time, including Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero. He left Activision to join his pal Than (High Score’s Nathaniel McClure!) at Scientifically Proven where they (along with an amazing and dedicated team) made multiple games, including Man vs. Wild and Blood of the Werewolf.

Along with his games work, Derek has written about two of his greatest loves – comics and movies – for sites like,, and Now you’ll get a chance to see into the mind of a man who has spent countless hours thinking about Flash comics while trying to beat Civilization Revolution with every world leader on Diety…

Derek Faraci

Twitter Handle:

What is Your Position at High Score?
I am the onsite manager for events

How Long Have You Been With High Score?
About two years. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

How Did You Get Started at High Score?
When Than joined Neil in this adventure, they needed a goofball to do the easy stuff while they handled the behind the scenes work, and we Faracis have a long history of being great goofballs.

What’s Your Favorite Part of Working at High Score?
I love seeing people enjoy the work we’ve done. When people first come into the lounge, their eyes go wide and you can see that the place is so much more than what they were expecting. Seeing friends and family playing games and having a good time, and knowing that I get to be a piece that helps them have a good time, makes me really happy.

What Was Your First Game?
The earliest game I can remember playing the 1981 Donkey Kong mini arcade. I can’t remember how it ended up in our home, but I imagine it was given to either me or my brother for Christmas or a birthday. Whatever the case, we played that thing all the time. Plenty of brotherly fights over it.
What Game Turned You Into a Gamer?
Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers for the NES. In the game, you can pick up items and throw them, and if you’re playing two players, you can pick up your partner and throw them. My brother and I quickly figured out that you could pick up the other player and throw them into pits. I don’t know that we ever made it past the first level. We would play for hours on end, just throwing each other down pits. We’d be laughing right up until it turned into yet another brotherly fight. I loved the competition, and I really got into the idea of finding a game within the game.

What Games Are You Currently Playing?
I’ve been playing Crackdown 3, which I’m digging. I also play a lot of Civilization Revolution. I have a goal of beating the game with every world leader through every win scenario (Domination, Culture, Economic, and Technological)  on the hardest difficulty. I’ve been playing the game for over a decade and… it isn’t going well. Still, I love it.

I’ll put on Overwatch from time to time. I like it, but I’m terrible at it.


What Are Some of Your Favorite Games?
Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers has a special place in my heart. Maybe one day I’ll get to the second level. Civilization Revolution is way up there. Sid Meier’s Pirates is another one I love. Punch-Out!! for the NES is one I can play every day (and with the NES Classic, I actually can!).  I can’t play it as long as I used to – my hands are getting old! – but I still love breaking out Rock Band from time to time.

What’s Your Favorite Gaming Memory?
Playing Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers with my brother is way up there. During the Rock Band 2 days, they put out a haze/lights machine that you could hook up to your Xbox 360. It would interact with the game and really add to the feeling of being a rock star. I bought it and my buddy Thom came over to my place so we could check it out. Within two minutes of turning the system on, my whole apartment was filled with fog. It took hours to get all that fog out of my place.
Not too long ago, after a long night at the Salty Dog, Neil, Than, and I rocked out some Billy Joel on Rock Band at the lounge. That was good times.
What Game Stressed You Out The Most? Did It Make You Rage Quit?
I’m the worst at first-person shooters, so I’m tempted to say one of them, but in truth, it’s probably Civilization Revolution. I have literally screamed at that game. A few weeks ago, I was well on my way to a Technological victory on Deity with Spain when stupid England came up with a load of ships and took my capital city. I was ruined! RUINED! I had to go for a walk after that.

When You Aren’t Playing Games, What Do You Like to Do?
I’m a big movie and comic nerd, so I spend a lot of time at the theater, watching my ever growing DVD/Blu/4k collection, or reading about superpowered peeps smashing things up. I also watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 like it’s a religion. I recently got way into crock poting (is that a phrase?) and spend a lot of free time reading recipes and figuring out what to make next. So far the best thing I’ve made is a crock pot lasagna from my sister’s recipe, but the turkey chili I made this week is a close second.

I’m also a walker. I come from a long line of walkers, and I love it. Just choose a direction and see where you end up. With the weather warming up here in Michigan, I’m excited to get back into taking a few hours out of a day for a nice long walk with some podcasts.


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