ADOTAS EXCLUSIVE — Gamervision, an online community site, has been keeping gamers and like-minded people in touch since 2007. With an experienced team and a finger on the pulse of the market, Fred Bauer, Gamervision’s co-founder, explains the company’s philosophy and the plans that will makes an imprint on the online gaming industry for years to come.
ADOTAS: Fred, can you give us a little background information on your experience and how you came up with the concept for Gamervision?
FRED BAUER: I have been in the entertainment business over 45 years. I started producing records and writing music at age 17. Over time I moved into Radio as a DJ and Music Director, and then on to TV where I was a Producer/Director and eventually Programmer. In 1970 I started my own company to produce TV Specials which I sold to Advertising Agencies for their clients. In 1974 I turned my sights to movies and Produced “The Buddy Holly Story” which was nominated for 3 Academy Awards and won 1 for Best Music.
About 9 years ago I was asked to evaluate a video game magazine to see if I thought it could be made into a half hour “Entertainment Tonight” type television program. After spending a week researching I decided to make a show that would serve as an infomercial for a web site that could bring all of the various game players together and exchange information and meet other likeminded people.
ADOTAS: What provoked you move into the online gaming industry?
FRED BAUER: With two children at home I was well aware of the revolution that was taking place in the world of games. I could see the revenue increasing every year and I knew that it was set to out-gross the Motion Picture Industry in a few short years. I have always prided myself on staying ahead of the “organic curve” as I like to say and with the youth yelling in my ear “TV is dead” I saw the future in the world of new media.
ADOTAS: So the site is an online community site for gamers and comic book enthusiasts. What truly differentiates you from other sites like Gaia and CharacterPlanet?
FRED BAUER: First of all it became apparent to me early on that Gamers have their own ethos, like skateboarders or rock and rollers. It’s a lifestyle and that’s why we call it Gamervision; It’s the way gamers see the world, and that will eventually spread to other areas that hold gamer interests like music, news, art and pop culture. While Gaia seems focused on the forum like conversation, which we will have in the coming months, CP seems to be a site that is focused on user generated content only whereas GV has a user component we also have a crack staff of writers turning out News, Reviews and Blogs that balance out the user side. We also have a soundstage where we have begun to produce our own videos and have already produced over 500 hours of content. Since my background is storied content we will be making original series which eventually could be spun off into other mediums such as movies, TV, graphic novels and even animation. All gamer centric, but with the wide eye through which they view life.
As for the comic book aspect; it occurred to me, early on, that comic books and action figures were the next door neighbors to video games, and to that end we are going to have a weekly comic strip, with a continuing story that will help us to broaden our base even further.
ADOTAS: Who is your audience? Have you found that it is broader than you expected?
FRED BAUER: It’s funny but we have moved well beyond the 13 yr. old kid eating pizza in his mother’s basement to older players of both sexes who enjoy meeting on line and exchanging Gamer Tags for later. This video of ours will show you what I mean…
ADOTAS: Do you ever have a problem with copyright issues regarding content uploaded by users?
FRED BAUER: We currently do not allow users to upload their own videos. My feeling is I’ve seen one too many pictures of a cat flushing the toilet.
ADOTAS: With such a broad and imaginative world, can you even monitor for “inappropriate content” on the site? What boundaries are there for users regarding this?
FRED BAUER: Taste, common sense and the notion that most people are decent folk and the ones who aren’t won’t use the site.
ADOTAS: You are an ad-supported site and keep your ads to a minimum in order to maintain a clutter-free look. As you grow, how do you intend to increase advertising without being intrusive to your users?
FRED BAUER: This is our greatest challenge. We pride ourselves on being “scatoma free-since 2 thousand 3. A large group of people have developed the medical “condition” scatoma which is the ability to not see ads that are intrusive in any way. It’s selective viewing of a sort, like tuning out your wife. (Or so I’ve been told). Our task is to find ways to engage them without “selling”. We are currently working on 2 new applications that would make shopping a voluntary exercise. The user would choose to enter the Mall where merchants would tend their own pages. Everyone is an anchor tenant.
ADOTAS: Who are your advertisers and who are you looking to appeal to?
FRED BAUER: The best thing about the gamer demographic is that advertisers see them as one of the top 3 most desirable clientele.
ADOTAS: Who are you partner sites and what role do they play in building your business?
FRED BAUER: At the present time we have created our own partners on the web as a way of reaching out to the larger base of gamers who are interested in Geek Tech… “The Daily Dairy”, Comic Books…”The Quarter Bin”, and “The Pen and Paper Portal” for those who still play board games. These sites link to Gamervision and vice versa. We have been approached by some other sites but we are waiting until we launch our “big stuff” before the year end.
ADOTAS: What’s next for Gamervision?
FRED BAUER: With our own staff of in house developers we have formed a separate division “Skyron Labs” which will be developing Apps and Widgets across many different platforms to aid in distributing our original content and bringing new features to internet and mobile phone users alike.