Exclusive Interview with Mark Donovan, Business Director of Miss Video Game
Mark Donovan, the Director of Business Development at Miss Video Game Incorporated took some time to answer questions for GamingAngels.com.
Now that the posting deadline has been reached, now the voting starts. How will the voting work? Will you allow users to vote once or vote more than once?
Our voting system is in development along with our online game play system. Users will be required to create an account on www.missvideogame.com and provide a valid email address and postal code/zip code in order to vote. We are taking these, as well as other standard precautions in order to ensure as much as possible that each person will vote only once. Of course, it is nearly impossible to completely ensure that each person will create only one account, but we are taking every reasonable step to ensure that people will not use bots or other cheating mechanisms to enhance their vote totals.
Voting begins on the 20th, when will the voting end?
The online voting round will end April 10th 2007 in time to organize the online game play round, which begins on April 30th 2007.
You must be excited to see so many young women sign up for your contest. Did you expect the contest to draw so much attention?
Our organization is very pleased to see such a strong turnout for the first annual MVG competition. Although we are pleased, we are not surprised by the popularity of the event. We would not have created the competition if we had not expected it to gain
widespread exposure and interest. We look forward to the next stages of the event and to seeing the online game play and final rounds unfold. Many interesting and accomplished contestants from a wide variety of backgrounds have entered the competition, so the
results should be very exciting.
For a brief time on your site, I saw an ad for a mousepad company. Are they a sponsor for Miss Video Game?
We are in the process of discussing a possible sponsorship for our event with representatives from Q-pad. Q-pad has a long history of sponsoring gaming events and teams, and we would be happy to have them come on board with our event if a beneficial arrangement can be made to suit both companies.
Have you received any sponsors from the gaming industry such as game development companies, or gaming accessories?
Miss Video Game Incorporated is a privately held corporation that is funded through private equity. As such, we do not actively pursue sponsors to offset the costs of our event. That being said, we are open to all enquiries from interested sponsors, and are in the process of identifying strategic partners and reputable judges for the event. It is not the practice of our company to divulge information on our partner companies until such time as they wish their involvement to be announced publicly. I can tell you that we are working with partners on our software development and are excited to showcase the next generation technology we are creating in the later rounds of the competition and beyond.
The mission statement says that Miss Video Game was created to showcase female gaming talent and marketable female gamers to gaming publishers and industry decision-makers. Is the winner of your contest then someone that can be used by all gaming companies for any event?
Miss Video Game has already gained a great deal of attention from the community, and we expect that interest to grow in future. As such, the winner of the competition will surely gain a great deal of media exposure and will be sought out by game publishers and marketers for her perspectives on the game industry and how it could more effectively market to female gamers. Nothing would make us happier than for Miss Video Game to be active in shaping the future of the gaming genre by participating in gaming events and working closely with marketers and publishers to make their efforts more pertinent to women gamers.
The gaming industry has done a poor job of marketing to both genders instead of just marketing to men. Do you think your winner will be able to make an impact on this?
We surely hope and believe so. We have structured the competition so that the people will be able to have a say in the winner of the competition so that they will partly be able to determine who will shape the future of female gaming. The reason we ask contestants to provide us with information for their profiles is to let voters get an idea of what they are like on a personal level beyond just how good they are at gaming. We believe that interpersonal skills are important in an ambassador, as well as skill in the discipline. We believe that by finding a strong gamer with interpersonal skills to match, we will have the best chance of having a lasting impact on the future of the gaming industry as a whole, and from the competitors we have enlisted, we are sure that the winner of MVG 2007 will have a positive impact on the game industry.
Some last questions:
This line in particular, “Even if you don’t know anything about video games sign up and learn”, annoyed many gamers male and female. It seems to be a conflict in the contest since they have to play games to win. Does this mean that a girl can be choosen even if she loses during the gameplay portion of the competition? Also if the woman you are looking for can play games, shouldn’t this line be removed from your mission statement?
We see no reason why this statement should be cause for concern or annoyance for any person that is truly interested in the long-term growth of the video game industry. Unfortunately, not every person who enters a competition can win; however, that does not in any way mean that people who might not win shouldn’t join. In the same respect, the chances that a n00b will win the Miss Video Game 2007 competition are exceedingly slim, but that doesn’t mean that girls who are new to the gaming world should be afraid of signing up. Everyone has to start their gaming career somewhere, and if people want to start that journey at our event we would be more than happy for them to do so. In short, any woman can enter to enjoy the fun, competitive atmosphere of the event and to meet new friends with similar interests. But in the end she will have to bring game in order to become our champion. We feel that anyone who would restrict the entry of such an event to only people who have attained a certain intangible skill level would be defeating the ultimate goal of creating a real sport out of video games.
As you know, I have a female gaming website. I have spent many years in the industry, making contacts and getting out there before I started the site. Even now I continue to make sure I have many contacts for the site. So I understand being an outsider to the industry and creating something that works along with the Gaming Industry. What have you done to create contacts and relationships with people within the Gaming Industry? Do you have prior background in the industry? What can you do to ensure that Miss Video Game winner will be taken serious by Gaming Industry professionals?
Gaming has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember, but I have only recently become interested in the business aspect of the genre. We are currently in the process of developing media kits and other promotional materials to distribute to our contacts at game publishers and other industry insiders, and will be distributing these packages early in the New Year. These materials are intended to increase awareness of the MVG competition among a large number of industry officials for future consideration.
As for your last question, we intend to have a winner that is a knowledgeable gamer, a charismatic speaker, and a good ambassador for females in gaming. We intend to heavily promote this event and to complete it successfully. Those are the ways in which we intend to ensure that MVG is taken seriously by Industry professionals. The people are there we’re just trying to do our part to give them a venue in which they will be noticed and taken seriously. We believe that this event will be a big step towards attaining that goal.