Robert Gifford extended interview from Pandemic - TableTop ep. 14

Uploaded by geekandsundry on Oct 4, 2012


My name is Robert Gifford, and I own the company Geek Chic.
And we make geek furniture and accessories for geek living.
My furniture is on the show.
It is the table that we're using to play the games on,
and the chairs that we're using that Will can't stop
talking about as being comfortable chairs, which is
nice to hear, and stuff behind me, I think, right now.
It's the cabinets and the bookshelves and things.
I think the idea of making a furniture for geeks kind of
company probably isn't unique.
I mean, especially people that think, man, wouldn't it be
great if there was a table for this.
Wouldn't it be great--
I think that's been said for 40 years.
I had the same idea because I'm playing a game of D&D, and
I'm like wouldn't it be awesome.
Finally, I realized I could do that.
I realized I had all the skills, and the people, and
abilities necessary, and then it was kind of like almost an
I realized if I can do that, and it's been 40 years and no
one has done that, maybe I have to do it.
Maybe I pulled the sword from that stone, and now it's kind
of my obligation to do exactly what I know I can.
We go to a lot of conventions.
That's pretty much, honestly, all we did for a while.
And then we had this kind of explosion of people who are
like, wow, we really like your thing, and we really like what
you're doing.
And we had a plethora of customers, a more than desired
amount of customers.
And so that's really all the marketing that we have ever
done, was to go to shows and let the word of mouth kind of
filter out from there.
I mean, we have a website, clearly.
But we don't do much else, and that's just because,
thankfully, a lot of people really want what we do.
I love seeing people interact with my stuff, our stuff, for
the very first time.
They look at things, and they kind of become slack jawed,
like what, someone hacked into my brain.
What kind of fantasy universe have I slipped into?
What parallel dimension?
And they sit in my chairs, and they go, oh, my god, this is
ridiculous, and all of those shocked and awe experiences,
and all of those realizations as they kind of realign the
way that they're thinking about how this
could be their life.
I'm a geek, and it could be awesome.
Being a geek could be the greatest thing ever, and
that's such an amazing, mind-blowing experience to
watch that happen for people and go, yes, yes, that's
exactly right.
It could be you.
It should be you.
It should be all of us.
We do get feedback from gamers.
Mostly, it's like I can't believe you thought of this.
We definitely are working really hard to kind of come up
with every scenario, but sometimes they go, you know,
this would be great, this would be fantastic.
And I go, you're right, and we should do that.
And those kinds of things that we prototype for that person
become part of our catalogue.
How I got in the gaming is a long story, but basically, my
grandmother was an extraordinary gamer, and she
would organize huge events on her birthday.
She would invite all of her friends, and they would have
big card tournaments, and she would pay them out "Monopoly"
money for all of the kind of achievements, basically, that
they made the whole time.
You did this, you got that, you did this, and everyone
would come up with this fistful of "Monopoly" money at
the middle of the night, or 11 o'clock at night, everyone
would go downstairs to her basement where there was a
bunch of wrapped gifts.
This is her birthday, mind you.
And they would hold an auction, a blind auction, on
these gifts with this "Monopoly" money, and people
would bid their money for these gifts.
And this is crazy experience that they're playing games,
and then they're playing another meta-game that's on
top of this game.
And everyone else would continue to play games all the
way until dawn, where she would take
everybody out to breakfast.
And with a grandmother like that, you
cannot escape gaming.
I mean, that's going to be in your blood.
I play a lot of cooperative games.
What's great about cooperative games is that if you are the
person in your group that people start to not want to
play against because you are the shark, or somebody like
that, that happens to be in there.
And I found myself on that end of the spectrum
from time to time.
Cooperative games are always OK, and they're always on the
board, because you're not playing against anybody.
You're playing with them, and everyone wants you on their
team if you're the shark.
And so cooperative games are one of the absolute easiest,
easiest things to get onto the board for me, at
least in name raim.
Gaming is x, where x is equal to just about everything.