Saturday, August 20, 2011
Phoenix Gamer Interviews Devastation's Robb Chiarini
This week Phoenix Gamer was able to get a hold of Robb Chiarini, the event director of Phoenix's Premier Video Gaming Event "Devastation". He was awesome enough to answer some questions we had for him.
PG: What, exactly, is DEVASTATION... is it a Con, Expo or what?
R: An EVENT!
Part Convention, Part Trade-Show, Part Tournament. We have elements of all three wrapped up into the event. Conventions are made up of a variety of exhibitors and programming, stuff to see and do. Trade shows are, normally, industry-specific events showcasing new and in-development products. Tournaments, well, you know... they are tournaments!
DEVASTATION offers a host of Interactive Entertainment and related programming, including professional-level video game tournaments, casual gaming areas, Cosplay and Costuming events, non-gaming and athletic competitions, exclusive product announcements and public demonstrations, artist and press tables, guest appearances, community events, convention and exhibitor displays, charity fundraisers and the definitive eSports Live Broadcast in the world.
PG: How many people attended last year and how many are expected this year?
R: We saw around 5,000 people last year and, for this year, your guess is as good as mine. We have made a host of changes that we think are improvements but we will not really know until the doors open that Friday. Our single-biggest change was moving to October (from June), we think this will be better for us but it might end up worse. I am going to go on record saying we will have 5,000+ (crossing fingers).
PG: What are some new things we might see at this year’s event?
R: New things at the event?
- Multiple stages
- Multiple events with qualifying and final tournaments
- A ton of new exhibitors
- 70,000 more square feet of space
- Three-times as many consoles
- PC games
- Cosplay/Costume contests
- Rock! Paper! Scissors! tournaments
- Multiple Live Broadcasts
PG: Do you participate in any of the events at DEVASTATION?
R: I have participated in events in past years, however, I do not think I will be this year... there is just too much going on. If I play in anything, I will compete in one of the Mortal Kombat events and you can almost be assured that I will be commentating on the Live Broadcast for those tournaments.
PG: What is your favorite thing about running DEVASTATION?
R: My favorite aspect of coordinating DEVASTATION is all the people I get to meet. I am social junkie and so having the opportunity to hang out with all the like-minded people that come to the event is awesome.
PG: How do you feel about the Phoenix (or Arizona) Gaming community?
R: Which one? The Phoenix Gaming Community is all over the place, which is good and bad. It means that we have a ton of diversity but, at times, little cohesiveness. I think that all the gamers are a dedicated bunch and, for the most part, pretty accepting of each other.
PG: If you change one thing about it (the community) what would it be?
R:Put everyone within a five block radius of each other. We are so spread out and many people just lack the initiative to gather at times can be frustrating.
PG: Any words for the gamers?
R: This is a community-run event which means no corporation or organization funds or owns this thing. Our success and ability to host this event each year comes from the support of attendees and our Supporters (Exhibitors/Sponsors). So, with that in mind, help us: spread the word about the event, attend (great choice if you ask me) or watch the Live Broadcast over the weekend. We try and raise a lot of money for our charity partner, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and your involvement can help make the difference.
Also, as we are a community-event, we care about what YOU want... let us know what you would like to see at the event; help us improve.
PG: Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. Devastation happens this October right here in Phoenix! Check the events page for more information. You can also follow Devastation at their Facebook Page.
Submitted by Mel