“When you are born at the start of a World War, and are hiding in bunkers and dodging bombs, it gets interesting,” Kate Jones says matter-of-factly of her formative years.
Kate was born in Budapest, and just five years old when World War II overran Hungary, too. Her family narrowly escaped the Russian invasion, catching “the last train to Germany (the American sector) before they closed the borders.”
“The reason we had to flee was not that we were targets for the Nazis but because my father, in WWI, had been a prisoner-of-war in Russia, and he managed to escape through Siberia and get back to Hungary. He figured the Russians would have his number,” she explains.
Kate lived in Germany until she was 12, and she arrived on the shores of America on Christmas Day 1951.
By 1958, Kate was married to her first husband. She found The Fountainhead “amongst his things, and [after reading] thought, ‘Ooh! I agree with everything [Ayn Rand] says!’” After that she began following Rand’s speeches and reading all of her work. She even had the opportunity to meet her in 1965. Kate, searching for advice on self-sacrifice, remembers asking Rand if her husband agreed with everything she said. “Of course, he has to!” Rand replied laughingly.
During this time, Kate fell in love with ballroom dancing, describing it as “another way that you can see how the mind creates patterns, systems, order, and balance…” She became a master of her craft and began teaching, adding Ballroom Dance Teacher to her mix of other jobs: copywriting and graphic art.
It was in the dance studio that she met her second husband, Dick, an electrical engineer, who was one of her students. He became so good that they entered Professional-Amateur competitions together, collecting over 60 trophies. They’ve been married 52 years as of 2022.
In 1975, a job transfer to Iran caused them to hang up their dancing shoes. While moving to the Middle East disrupted one life-path, it created another—Gamepuzzles.
In an airport newsstand in Dubai, she picked up Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth. This science fiction novel introduced her to pentominoes—puzzle shapes made of 5 squares–inspiring her to “get a set crafted in classic Persian inlay and invent a game with it.”
Back in the U.S. (another job transfer, this time to Baltimore), creating games became a full-time endeavor—and Kate has made it her life’s work since 1979, even enlisting her husband.
She settled on the name Gamepuzzles—which she went on to trademark—because her creations can be multiplayer games and puzzles.
The main criterion for each Gamepuzzle is that it’s colorful, beautiful, geometric, and a work of art itself. Kate holds her Gamepuzzles so dear in part because they parallel Objectivism: “These puzzles give you an objective, and then you figure it out…you make rational decisions to combine things,” she told us.
These days, Kate keeps a full schedule, showing her Gamepuzzles at art fairs, creating new ones with lasers and acrylics, running the business, and, of course, keeping up with The Atlas Society—she sleeps only four hours a day!
Kate is our most active Atlas Society member—as she has attended more virtual events than any other donor—and is pleased with David Kelley’s open Objectivist approach. She admires him for having the guts to break away from Orthodox Objectivism, the way the United States declared their independence from colonial rulers.
We are thrilled to have Kate amongst our ranks and feel that her Gamepuzzles, which, as she puts it, “integrate art, writing, philosophical yearning for symmetry and order, and the celebration of the human mind and spirit,” could not be a more beautiful symbol of Objectivism itself.
You can check out Kate’s Gamepuzzles HERE!