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Andrew Sztein, Trend Hunter (INTERVIEW)

Sztein Looks at Waterloo Labs as They Recreate Mario Kart

— April 12, 2013 — Autos
Andrew Sztein, an editorial intern at Trend Hunter, is such a huge gamer that he squealed like a little girl when he witnessed Waterloo Labs recreate Mario Kart in real life. Sztein's gaming credentials are backed up by his position as the senior editor of, a popular Canadian video game website. Sztein is also a professional freelance photographer specializing in the Toronto Indie music scene and an author who is currently in the process of publishing his first novel. He's also a huge Ottawa Senators fan living in enemy territory in Toronto.

What's your favorite trend and why?

One trend I really enjoyed recently was the real Mario Kart, which was a phenomenal little thing that these guys at the Waterloo Labs in Texas put together. Basically, this group of nerds that really, really like Mario Kart and are very skilled in engineering, decided to recreate Mario Kart. These guys actually created an RFID system, or Radio Frequency Identification system, where all these karts are connected to each other through a network. This network can actually detect what weapons these guys have picked up from actual question mark boxes on the track. When a kart is hit by a weapon like say, a red shell, the steering and brakes will lock, knocking that kart out for example.

How do you define cool?

I define cool as doing whatever makes you happy and makes your heart soar, I guess. Whether you're a nerd, or a music lover, or a movie lover, maybe you love books, or anything like that. Whatever makes your heart sing and is related to your passions is what's cool to me.

What's your secret to uncovering the best trends?

My secret to uncovering the best trends is basically to check out more obscure and kookier blogs that have a lot of interesting stories going on. A lot of the bigger media outlets wouldn't usually pick that sort of stuff up. There's a lot of really crazy people out there doing a lot of unique stuff, but there's only so much coverage to go around, so you really have to dig deeper to find that sort of stuff.

What's your favorite part about working at Trend Hunter?

My favorite thing about working at Trend Hunter would be somewhere in between the people and the office environment. It's a very low-key but hard working sort of place. I feel like my talents are personally appreciated here. There's a lot of support and my questions are always answered. I feel like I'm contributing something to this website, but this website is also contributing something to me as a person.

How do you reset to be creative?

I reset to be creative by doing all sorts of things. Sometimes it's popping a game into my PlayStation or Xbox, sometimes it's throwing on a movie or a vinyl record. Sometimes it's hanging out with friends, or having a pint, or watching and playing some hockey. There's so many ways to unwind and reconnect with yourself out there, you just have to find the one that's right for you.

What's your awesome prediction for the future?

My prediction for the future would be that we're going to invent hover cars. It's going to happen. There's going to be flying cars everywhere. Then we'll go back to the classic wheel-based models when people realize that you can die really, really easily in a city full of freaking hover cars.

Is there anything you'd like to add about Trend Hunter?

I got to say, Trend Hunter is an amazing place to work. It's fun, it's productive, and your name gets out there like few other places allow.