Community Profile: Game Casa

GamaCasa.net logo
GamaCasa.net logo

Game Casa

From the very first video game there have been fans and followers who wanted nothing more than a place to learn, interact and discuss gaming with fellow gamers and so community groups were formed. Today there are thousands of sites to visit for just about every type of game.

Today we look at a social gaming site that brings together casual and hardcore gamers alike to immerse themselves in all things gaming. The site offers news, reviews, editorials and more on everything gaming and they have a great sense of humor to boot.

Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with one of the founders of Gama Case, but first here is a video from their Youtube page about how they got started:

Obsolete Gamer: How long as Game Casa been around?

Josh: Game Casa has been around in various forms for almost five years. Originally it was a forum site and a myspace page that would have the links to podcasts.  GameCasa.Net was started up which gave people a central home to go to so they could connect with each other, read reviews and news, check out videos and leave comments.  GameCasa has branched out to GameCasa.Net, and we also have homes on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and ITunes.

Obsolete Gamer: How important is social networking and community sites such as yours to the gaming community and gaming culture in general?

Josh: Social Networking is one of the driving forces that keeps the gaming community alive.  Back in the day the only way you could get to talk about games was by passing around a copy of Nintendo Power and before that you would have to go to the local arcade to connect with other games and you’d usually end up losing all your parents’ quarters if they gave you any.  Nowadays with sites like ours, people can with common interests can come together and find out who is playing what, when, etc.  A lot of the people who work on GameCasa are in the same guild on World of Warcraft, so that’s yet another benefit the site brings.  It’s good for the various sites to be familiar with one another.  Everyone brings something different to the table.  One person can serve as a go between and share content and spread the word of mouth for so many different sites.

Obsolete Gamer: What is the key to keeping members and fans interested in Game Casa?

Josh: Right now the key is providing the audience with informative and unique entertaining content.  There’s a lot of places where people can get news and reviews on games, but we try to make it a little bit more entertaining.  A recent review of F1 2010 showed King Arthur speeding around on a riding lawn mower while discussing the racing game.  Realistic?  Maybe only in a fantasy world where a guy could race a lawn mower against an F1 vehicle.  But you won’t see that on too many other sites.

Another thing we try to do is do live streams of certain events.  With the iPhone 4, we can use that as a camera and stream live reviews, something we did recently with the new NBA Jam on Justin.TV.  It’s a matter of timing though, most of the time we’ll be sitting around and say, “Now would be a good time for some live streaming reviews”.

GamaCasa.net Joystick logo
GamaCasa.net Joystick logo

Obsolete Gamer: How do you guys select what you feature on your blog?

Josh: We try and stay current with all the gaming news that is released throughout the day.  We keep our eyes on the various sites and we get press releases from various companies.  If it’s something we think our fans would be interested in, we pass it along.  Since we all have regular day jobs, it’s hard to come up with a concept, do the research, and write a good article on a topic.  We’d like to bring in more people that have the time to do opinion pieces and game reviews on a more frequent basis.  If someone on GameCasa that is a frequent visitor to the site makes it known that they enjoy something, I will look to post things regarding those games just for them.  We have a guy who is really into Borderlands so I will make sure to get Borderlands news out for him.  The voices on Trials HD were done by the guys from GameCasa so I always make sure to get out anything on that title as well as stuff from Red Lynx.  So you could see the blog content is fan driven to a point.  The more the fans and readers speak up, the easier it is to find stuff to write about.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about the videos on your YouTube page?

Josh: There is a wide mix of content on the youtube page.  A lot of the content is just us sitting around talking about the games we are playing, which keeps with our style of being for casual gamers.  Sometimes we have a fun time with it and add a little bit extra that the fans want to see.  Recently we have been getting out to more events in the NorthEast like Challenge Arcade, GamerDoc launch parties, and Too Many Games.  The events we go to bring in more fans because we get to meet more people and spread the word about GameCasa.  We recently got our hands on some new production equipment, so we are hoping to bring some more high quality products to the youtube page.  You can look at the older stuff and see how different it is than the newer stuff.  The videos are different than the written pieces.  If the fans want to see videos featuring certain people, that’s a bit harder to pull off because you have to coordinate schedules, figure out stuff to do etc.

Obsolete Gamer: Tell us about your Podcast.

Josh: Right now the podcasts are being done on Talkshoe.  Fans can log in through their computer or call in through the phone.  We try to do podcasts during a time when there is something really good to talk about.  We did one where we got to discuss E3 2010 this summer and another one just after Too Many Games.  It’s a sure bet we’ll have a few coming up as the holiday season approaches and the big companies roll out their holiday releases.  The podcasts have becoming more and more popular as we get more people coming in to discuss things.  Having Rake and Brandon on to chat about things (when they figure Talkshoe out) also helps build an interest in getting people to listen in.  All of the podcasts are available on iTunes by searching “GameCasa”. You can find out when we have podcasts schedule by going to GameCasa or following us on Twitter or Facebook.

GamaCasa.net arcade logo
GamaCasa.net arcade logo

Obsolete Gamer: Tell us about your gaming background?

Josh: For me (Josh), I started out gaming with classic arcade games and the Atari system. I spent many hours of my childhood at other people’s houses playing video games with other guys.  It didn’t matter whether or not I really even liked them.  If they had Nintendo, it was a sure bet they would get a knock on the door from me.  I was like a Victorian-Era English Street Urchin, “Excuse me, might I come in for some Ninja Turtles?” I’ve had all of the big systems and am a big fan of RPGs.  I got a closer look at video gaming when I worked as a Quality Assurance Tester for EA Sports in Orlando.  That job was the go to gig for any Orlando guy who couldn’t find anything better or was in between jobs. The one thing I hated about it was that they made it seem bigger than it actually was.  They made it seem as if we were all working to cure cancer.  There was a controversy a few years back when an EA Sports employee’s wife wrote a blog about how EA worked he husband to the bone and never paid overtime.  I believed it.  When a game hits beta you work 14 hours a day with no days off.  It took me awhile after I left to enjoy video games with a passion again.  Part of that was the fact that I had to become a member of the full time workforce.  I would say it really came back to life when I started writing for GameCasa.

Obsolete Gamer: What is your favorite classic game and why?

Josh: Without a doubt my favorite classic game is the original Legend of Zelda for the NES.  It brings back so many memories of your first real video game experience, and that was when it really changed for me.  So many of my friends had it and we would get together playing the game.  We shared the joys of getting Master Sword and the horror of the power going out and our whole save file getting erased.  Zelda was the first Virtual Console game (R.I.P. Virtual Console) I downloaded when I got the Wii.

Obsolete Gamer: What games are you currently playing?

Josh: I’m pretty hooked on Red Dead Redemption and World of Warcraft.  You can probably tell that if you read GameCasa as a good number of articles have to do with those titles.  I’ll play any good comic book super hero game if it comes out and isn’t based on a movie.

Here are the answers from Arthur Webb, Co-founder of Game Casa:

GamaCasa.net logo
GamaCasa.net logo

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about how Game Casa started?

That video basically says it all.  To sum it up: Tone and I were sick of news/reviews geared towards nerds and wanted to provide casual gamers with information they can relate to.

Obsolete Gamer:  Originally what was the reasoning behind creating Game Casa and how has it changed over time? That is another question best suited for Art.

Like I said in the question above, Tone and I wanted to provide casual gamers with entertaining information they can relate to–the key words being entertaining and relate.  All of the shows/sites we got our info from had a ‘nerdy white guy and failed porn actress’ formula that we thought was lame.  What if you’re a 6’4″ black prison guard, and asian body-builder, or a metal head mad scientist?  They can’t relate to X-Play or IGN.  Beyond that, who wants to get their news/reviews in such a boring format?  I’d rather see something entertaining: like a cripple in a 500 lb wheelchair running over a nintendo cartridge.  As Josh mentioned above, Game Casa evolved from a TV show concept into a podcast, into a myspce site, and eventually into a WordPress MU / BuddyPress social site that connects casual gamers across platform (with supporting social media and broadcast sites to boot).

Obsolete Gamer: Tell us about your gaming background?

It was so long ago I can’t really remember…  My dad was a chemist and always purchased the latest computer shit.  I had some gaming system before Atari, then got an Atari, a Mac, Nintendo (smashed about 3 of them), Super Nintendo, Turbo Graphics 16, Atari Lynx, then got every modern console and most of the handhelds after Nintendo 64.  That and I would play games in the arcade whenever I was at the beach or at the mall.  I’ve enjoyed gaming casually all of my life and turned my passion into a vocation after university, when wound up ditching my career in fitness and got a job working as a field rep for Playstation.  I moved on after the PS3 shit the bed and they went into a hiring/promotion freeze and started Game Casa shortly thereafter.

Obsolete Gamer:  What is your favorite classic game and why?

This is the hardest (like my dick) question to answer…  So many classic games hold a spot dear to my balls, I mean, my heart.  Some of my favorites include Sinistar, Yi-Ar Kung Fu, Gladiator and Mat Mania.

Obsolete Gamer:  What games are you currently playing?

When I have time, I love to play Dawn Of War 2 (even though I have to use shitty Windows to play it), Halo Reach, Red Dead Redemption and Demon’s Souls; however, I have a laundry list of one’s I’d like to play.  Just need the time to play em…  Full time work, a newborn and a bunch of wood-be start-up businesses make gaming difficult!

You can check out their site at: http://gamecasa.net/ in addition you can visit their social media pages including FaceBook, Twitter, Youtube and Justin TV where they host their podcasts.

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.