Established in 2017, Columbia Mining Company discovers and redeploys historical assets within frameworks provided by ancient knowledge systems in order to reinvigorate and elevate the experience of sociocultural context for the user. Utilizing lost, fragmented or purposely hidden artifacts, we design and produce media and software for the gamespace that values new expressions of language and the sustaining forces of song and story.

Russell Shannon

Russell Shannon, Founder & CEO, on the California coast, September 2017.


Russell Shannon, Founder & CEO, studied historiography at Seattle University and motion picture at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. His early video work was exhibited at the American Film Institute National Video Festival and CableAce Awards. An early adopter of Java Virtual Machine and Javascript web implementations, he first streamed video using simple HTTP protocol when President Clinton visited Santa Barbara in 1996. He worked for Cox Communications Santa Barbara for over 10 years and was adjunct faculty at Santa Barbara City College from 2005-2010 in the Film/Television department. He has directed hundreds of commercials for the Santa Barbara area TV advertising market. In 2010, he established an electronic imaging studio at the LA Brewery Arts Complex, where he collaborated with US and international artists in the documentation of their work and exhibitions. He began to research Bitcoin in 2011 and emerging cryptographic schemes for secure transactions of digital currencies in 2015. Recognizing blue ocean opportunities for the use of smart contracts in business and entertainment applications, he began the development of innovative game software in Spring 2017. He is a passionate evangelist for blockchain tech as a way forward for business, industry and governments that are struggling with the legacy systems of the 20th century.

Russell Shannon Archival Photos

l to r: 'T. Salamander' (1996) Russell Shannon with actors Charles Whitt & Michael Rathbone; Academy Award® Nominee Lawrence Tierney & Stephanie Valens in 'Last Man II' (1991); Shooting at RAID Gallery, LA Brewery Arts Complex, 2011.


Columbia Mining Company develops smart contract based game environments and advanced motion media for internet delivery. Our blockchain based game project, Columbia: The Game of Modern America in Four Parts, began production in Spring, 2017. Recreating the vibrant and chaotic culture of the California Gold Rush in the city of Columbia, a collection of mining camps in the Sierra Nevada gold country, the game follows the winding threads of two families from four nations through 150 years.

Columbia: The Game of Modern America in Four Parts

American Progress (1872) by John Gast. Source: Library of Congress.

The epic story of Columbia stands on four pillars, fixed by four locations on four timelines: from the birth of the first global culture; through the 'great centralization' of the transportation, banking and communications industries; across the creation of the National Security State; to a new world awakening to whispers of freedom. Using the power of immersion into the intimate memory space of its diverse range of characters, the gravity and realism of location production, the solidity of primary source archival material, and the emotional and temporal qualities of music, Columbia powers insight into our shared world heritage.

Columbia: The Game of Modern America in Four Parts

Columbia: The Game of Modern America in Four Parts


The establishment of 'Base Camp' began in 3rd Qtr 2017 with the completion of the story outline, assessment of available open source software, and initial modeling of the gamespace architecture. The Whitepaper is scheduled for publication on this website in January, 2018. Recruitment of the core executive, development and production teams and advisors is expected to be completed by 2nd Qtr 2018. Launch of the Columbia Coin, an ERC20 token used exclusively within the gamespace on the Ethereum blockchain, is planned for 2nd Qtr 2018. The first public iteration of the game, Part One: Gold Mountain is projected to be released 4th Qtr 2019. Parts Two, Three and Four will be developed by parallel production teams in order to meet projected release dates 12 to 18 months apart. Each Part provides pathways to every other extant Part, and synergizes the user experience by allowing access to multiple time streams.

Columbia Mining Company is seeking corporate and institutional partners who share our vision of historical insight and understanding across cultures, and who value innovative approaches to education. Contact us here or at our mailing address: 1187 Coast Village Road #1-130 Santa Barbara CA 93108.

Credits: Game cover painting "American Progress" (1872) by John Gast, Library of Congress LC-USZC4-668; Game Part 1 cover photo "Father of the Forest, and James King of William Mammoth Grove, Calaveras County" (1866), Lawrence & Houseworth, publisher, Library of Congress LC-USZ62-27241; Game Part 2 cover photo "In holiday finery, Chinatown, San Francisco" (ca. 1896), photo by Arnold Genthe, Library of Congress LC-G403-BN-0369; Game Part 3 cover "A soldier and a woman in a park, with the Old [Russell] Senate Office Building behind them, Washington, D.C.", Library of Congress LC-USW361-75; Game Part 4 photo from screen capture of live CNN broadcast, Tienanmen Square, June 5, 1989. Page background "Verge of Rennaissance" photo by Russell Shannon. Footer background: Comstock Mine, Virginia City, Nevada, photo by O'Sullivan, 1867-68. US National Archives, American West Collection: 77-KS-1-13.