Here we are folks, the beginning of 2017. For Reforged Gaming Lounge, it means big things are coming. In just 4 short months (9/2016-12/2016) we were able to go from theoretical concept to hosting live, mobile events in which gamers and non-gamers could come and experience Virtual Reality at the highest possible level that we could offer. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone found something to dive into from our curated set of VR experiences and we had accomplished what we had set out to do in a very short time. We took the final two weeks of 2016 off to reflect and enjoy the holidays with our friends and family. We treat our relationships with the utmost sincerity and authenticity. We hope this aspect of Reforged is not lost on you. I share this simply because I believe it's important for everyone who engages with Reforged to understand exactly who we are and what we are about.
At the onset of 2017 we created some very lofty goals for ourselves. We were successful in getting the VR and console sides of Reforged out of prototype and ready for live experiences. This was a great start but we were are also only half way there.
There are 4 main pillars to Reforged. VR, Console, PC, and Mobile. We hadn't even touched on how to incorporate those into the mobile events. I had an idea in my head for introducing mobile gaming that had been brewing for over a year. Just a bit about me personally, my most admired gaming company is Blizzard Entertainment. They are a company that gets gaming at a very deep level and we certainly want to partner with them as often as possible. With that in mind, a Hearthstone Fireside Gathering was an obvious choice. It's free to play, designed for mobility, and it has unique Blizzard support behind it. What do I mean by that? Attending a Fireside Gathering is the only way to get the special Fireside Gathering card back. Combine that with the fact that Hearthstone is one of the biggest E-Sports in the world and I knew that this was a thing we needed to make happen. Our plan came together quickly, but with not much time to promote the shift in our mobile events theme. Leveraging social media heavily we were able to successfully launch our first Hearthstone Fireside Gathering on January 13th. Here's a photo of our players hanging an playing some matches.
A fine looking group! It was awesome seeing such a response from the local community in such a short amount of time and while we played quite a many Hearthstone matches, we began discussing other games we enjoyed as well. In our discussions, a recurring topic was Overwatch.
We had anticipated this natural progression to other Blizzard games and knew that providing a LAN style environment is something that we wanted to add sooner than later. The main question was how? We don't have 6 fully spec'd gaming rigs and that was a point of contention for me, but the response at this event changed my view point of how we could accomplish this early on. Our attendees were more than willing to bring their gaming rigs and setup for a LAN party! Charged with that knowledge we went to our friend and supporter Jorge Riano and laid it all out for him. Fortunately for us, he was totally on board with the idea and here we are on the verge of adding the 4th pillar to Reforged and finally being able to deliver our full experience on the go.
So WTF is "Gaming Live!" then?? That is a fair question and very close to the question posed to me recently.
To me "Gaming Live!" Events are the vanguard of Reforged Gaming Lounge. They arrive before the rest and raise awareness, share culture, spread ideas, and evangelize they concept of making an event out of gaming, regardless of platform. "Gaming Live!" is designed to capture the energy of a live event and combine it with gaming culture. Think of it like this. My favorite band is KoRn and I own all of their albums, listen to them frequently, and passively support the band. When I go to one of their concerts, my support switches from passive to active and the experience of seeing KoRn live is such an elevated experience than just listening to them in the car, headphones, or even live video streaming. It's the energy that comes from live events that drives the experience and gives things that you are super familiar with a new spark, creating a new bond between you and something you already loved.
We aim to provide a large sampling of everything that Reforged Gaming Lounge has to offer in a new and unique settings with our partners around Charleston, SC and "Gaming Live!" events is our best way of accomplishing that so far. We are also working with other local businesses such as breweries and street food vendors (trucks/carts) to bring greater awareness to all of the cool things happening in Charleston and add a fun twist to each "Gaming Live!" event. We hope this has been a worthwhile read for you and hope to see you at a "Gaming Live!" event soon!!