Smoke and Mirrors:


Two Years of research, interviews, and behind-the-scenes accounts of the story that lead to the creation of the Coleco Chameleon, considered one of the biggest scams in video game history.


You may think you’ve heard it all until you read this book. Never before released interviews and details on the story behind the video gaming villain, Mike Kennedy.


Join Mike on his journey from hobby gamer to C.E.O. and back again and experience his highs and lows along the way.


Mike James, born in 1970 first experienced gaming in the form of the British Prestel Machine (Press Telephone) in the late 70s. Next came the generic “Pong” machine from Binatone with an amazing 3 games on it, Tennis (Pong), Football and Squash. Basically using a long stick to hit a square ball but man the hours put into that thing!

Published author and co-founder and co-host of the podcast since 2009.


"There's something very suspicious about this crowdfunded retro games console named after the Colecovision."

Heidi Kemps - Motherboard

Some Fun Facts About the Book

Hours of Interviews
Years in the making
Years of Writing

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Thursday Quotes

Welcome back to Thursday Quotes where we take a weekly look at some of the pertinent quotes in the book “Smoke And Mirrors.”

Mike Kennedy made no secret of the fact that he wanted to turn his hobby into a career and make a living from video games in some way.

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The Mike Kennedy Business Model

Scott Schreiber was one of many victims of the Mike Kennedy Business Model.

Mike had several sites and services that stemmed from an idea, either his own or that of somebody else, and he employed the same business model in most of them.

Scott outlines that for us…

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When I sat down to write this book, I didn’t sit down to write this book. I didn’t even know if it was a book. I knew there was a story to tell, atthe very least a factual documentation of the rise and fall of Mike Kennedy, but I didn’t just want to write a factual documentation of events. What I didn’t realize until I had started writing was that there is also a story between the lines and that is what I wanted to write.

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Monday Meme

Welcome to the first instalment in a series of Monday Memes.
What is a meme? Click here to find out.
The good news is, we’re going to start with my personal favourite.

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Hello and welcome to the first post on Smoke And Mirrors here at, I hope you’ll stick around for some fun and enlightening posts about the rise and fall of Mike Kennedy and the story that led to the demise of the Coleco Chameleon.

Here I will be posting regular content that will provide some excellent background to the book.

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Mike James