Tempe, AZ. (February 28, 2012) – Evil Controllers and GameTruck, two companies recognized for their product innovation and creativity, are teaming-up to outfit GameTruck’s mobile video gaming theaters with custom modified Xbox 360 controllers not sold anywhere else.
GameTruck’s Official Evil Controllers Party™, will include at least one “MVP Player” controller, outfitted with all of the aesthetic and performance enhancements available, including glow-in-the-dark LED lights, rapidfire and all of the master modifications available. Additional controllers will have aesthetic upgrades, plus Evil’s pro gaming thumbsticks and their Evil D-Pad, voted the 2nd best piece of gaming hardware for the year 2010 by Inc Magazine.
Until now, the only way to experience the thrill and excitement of playing with an Evil Controller was to borrow one from a friend or purchase one online through Evil Controller. The exclusive partnership, launching this March, will provide GameTruck party-goers with the unique experience of test-driving Evil Controllers after-market modified controllers during birthday parties, corporate and educational events in the best mobile video gaming environment. System-wide rollout is expected by the end of 2012.
Additionally, all attendees of an Official Evil Controllers Party™ can bring the excitement experienced in the GameTruck into their own living room. Gamers and parent alike will be able to purchase their own customized Evil Controller through a special GameTruck offer. Participating GameTruck Locations pages will list more details beginning March 15th.
About Evil Controllers
Evil Controllers is the premier company specializing in after-market, custom “modified” Xbox 360 controllers with enhanced game play and aesthetic features. Evil Controllers, founded in 2007, is an international company that is also pushing the limits in product development with the company’s Accessible Gaming Division, where creative problem solving and ingenuity come together to create modified controllers for individuals with physical and mobility limitations.
GameTruck, the original mobile video game company, has more than 70 mobile video game trucks in most major markets across the country. The bus-size, self-powered trucks are fully loaded with giant HD plasma screens, gaming consoles to accommodate 16 or more players at one time and over 50 multiplayer games for customers to choose from. In 2011 GameTruck was awarded a U.S. Patent for its concept, further solidifying its position in the industry it invented.
For more information regarding Evil Controllers, GameTruck or their partnership, check out evilcontrollers.com or gametruckparty.com.
Push up your glasses and pop in your retainer, it’s about to get geeky up in here.
Geeks Night Out: The Science of Fun, a celebration of science, technology and the people who make it all happen, is coming to downtown Tempe on Thursday, February 16.
It may seem as if the geeks are taking over, but they’ve actually been dominating the scene for quite some time. In fact, 20 percent of the jobs in Tempe are tech-related.
Geeks Night Out is all about bringing local businesses together and inviting everyone to let their inner nerd run wild.
There are two sides to the event: the is the fun and light-hearted side, which includes a costume contest, live music, ghost tours and plenty of video games; and there is the business and networking side, which includes a job fair, success panel and rapid pitch.
A free event for the whole family, Geeks Night Out is as much an opportunity to network as it is a place to have a good time.
Tempe’s Geeks Night Out is part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, which celebrates everything science and technology related just in time for the centennial celebrations.
Jeremy Babendure, director of the Arizona SciTech Festival, said it’s a statewide celebration for our society and culture, with over 250 events happening until March 15.
The SciTech Festival, a seven week festival that takes place all across Arizona, ignited a fire in Tempe that made for a one of a kind event.
“The concept of Geeks Night Out was something that was championed by the City of Tempe,” said Babendure.
Babendure reached out to Tempe, offering them a platform that they quickly filled out themselves.
“Science and technology is an industry that drives Tempe,” said Babendure. “It’s important for people to realize what is driving our economy.”
Babendure said the idea behind the festival is not only to get our future generations interested in Arizona as a huge leader in science, but to change Arizona’s identity in general.
“It helps to develop local awareness and, eventually, an international brand for our community as innovators in technology,” he said. “[Maybe] people can start viewing us more as leaders in technology than what Governor Brewer does on the tarmac with President Obama.”
Tempe Council-member Onnie Shekerjian, who chairs the council committee for technology, said Tempe is a unique city because of the highly educated population coming out of ASU and surrounding universities.
“For people over 25 years old, about 40 percent of those people in Tempe have a bachelor’s degree or above,” said Shekerjian. “The national average [for that age group] is 24 percent.”
Shekerjian said Tempe has a lot of tech companies starting there and relocating there, which adds to the personality of the city.
She also said Tempe is a location to have fun, which is why there is such a variety of different “geekness.”
“Being a geek is not being uncool,” she said. “Everyone has their area of geekness.”
Looking at Tempe as a whole, Shekerjian said it is an eclectic city that is very rich in culture for being able to strike out beyond your own. Case in point, the small businesses involved in Geeks Night Out.
Local Businesses Shine
For a lighthearted (or perhaps intense) time, visitors can take part in a good old fashion trivia game. Pop Culture Paradise is hosting the competition, and the topic is the endless battle of Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Prizes will be awarded to the man or woman who knows their intergalactic facts.
If the individuals would rather wear their geeky passions for the public to admire, there is also a Phoenix Comicon costume contest where prizes and trophies will be awarded to the best Sci-Fi outfit.
Youngsters and game enthusiasts can also indulge their video gaming thirsts in giant mobile video game theater provided by GameTruck, another example of a Tempe-based business that has expanded all over the country.
Now there are 55 GameTruck franchises across the country, hitting birthday parties, work events and schools.
Chief Operating Officer David Wachtel said seeing a GameTruck is all it takes to get hooked.
“With our business, you have to see and feel it to get it; you have to witness it yourself,” Wachtel said.
“It’s a different world from the one I grew up in, going to the arcades,” Wachtel said. “It’s pretty incredible.”
Having their business in Tempe has also allowed them to connect with other small businesses such as Evil Controllers.
“Tempe offers a closer community feel,” said Wachtel, who sees Geeks Night Out as a great opportunity for businesses to network.
GameTruck is teaming up with Evil Controllers to create a unique product line of controllers for both the mass market and individuals with disabilities.
Adam Coe is the CEO of Evil Controllers, a Tempe based company that customizes gaming controllers and even allows gamers to build their own creations.
Evil controllers will be showcasing their products inside a theater at Madcap where visitors can test out a new way of asserting their dominance on Call of Duty or Gears of War.
Coe is also on the Geeks Night Out success panel. A young entrepreneur, Coe was just a freshman college student with a good idea. An avid gamer, as many students are, Coe went home for spring break and decided to relocate some buttons on his Xbox controller in order to up his Halo game.
Truck full of games? Yeah, they’re real!
When I was a kid I had two consistent fantasies growing up. One was; acquire superpowers and perhaps becoming a less lame version of El Dorado. Two; living in a truck full of videogames. As time passed, it became painfully clear that was I not going to be a member of the Superfriends but, I still held out hope for my truck full of games.
Last week, Harold Goldberg (gaming journalism Jedi Master and author of All Your Bases Are Belong to Us) invited me to check out a GameTruck that was being sent to New York City to be evaluated by us. GameTruck is a franchise that essential sends you a mobile gaming center in the form of a 50 foot trailer that’s decked out with videogames and big screens. From what I’m told this is a big hit for children’s parties and occasionally the nerdy corporate gig. It just so happened that NYC was hit with tropical storm like rain and winds that could lift a cow, but that was not stopping me. I was determined to see this damn truck, I had to. I would fight through waves of knife-wielding banditos in order to see a dream come true. Sadly, the worst thing that happened to me was stepping in an ankle deep puddle and almost losing my hat to the wind.
I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. I was half-expecting a janky converted minivan with a couple of screens of Madden 12 being played; fortunately the monster that pulled up proved the contrary. An enormous trailer pulls up covered in crazy green decals after debating where to put the damn thing, the GameTruck gave us refuge from the storm.
Inside we were treated to a truly state of the art set-up. Neon green and red track lighting illuminated the inside of the surprising spacious trailer. I counted five HDTVs each hooked up with a Wii and Xbox 360. In one nook of the truck you had your Kinect station where you would be able to play motion games or wanted to get a session of Guitar Hero without hitting someone with plastic instrument or errant elbow. The coolest feature of the Game Truck is that the side panels can pop off and two TVs magically rise from behind the couch so games can be played from outside the truck. So far, I was impressed with a lot of design decisions mostly because that there is plenty of room for parties to walk around
Once we were able to soak everything in, we decided that some games needed to be played in order to properly evaluate the Game Truck. We walked over to the game wall and tried out NHL 12. We plopped down on the leather couch and had a couple of intense matches where I proved to be the victor. I was inside my dream, I could not be stopped.
My biggest concern is how the games would sound once you have a ton of kids screaming and hollering drown out the game noise. I guess, it’s a small sacrifice for the convenience of having a game party you don’t have to set up yourself.
You could easily cram about twenty or so screaming kids who are provided with plenty of options as far games are concerned. Since the GT is marketing as a kid friendly endeavor, parents can choose which games their younglings could be exposed to by simply going to the gamewall and removing the games they feel aren’t suitable for their party and the kids are none the wiser. Each GameTruck comes with a Game Coach to explain the basics to the non-gamers in the groups and takes care of all the set up pre and post game party. It was explained to us that Game Coaches pretty make sure that everyone gets to play and nothing craps out.
As I was playing, the Game Coach explained to us that the most popular games usually are Super Smash Brothers and pretty much any other fighting game. Each Game Truck comes with its own network setup so intense 8 on 8 Call of Duty or Halo LAN matches usual end up happening at some point during a party.
Normally, GameTrucks don’t make it out NYC but they are looking for a franchisee to take the risk. From what I heard from Kenneth, the owner of this particular truck, GameTrucks are huge in the suburbs and are a great end cap for a kid’s birthday party and build great word of mouth buzz. A NYC Game Truck would have a problem with just finding places to park. We had to set ours near a playground nearly blocking traffic. Prices vary depending on how many people are gaming, and how far the truck has to go but, completely reasonable for the most part.
All in all, my game truck experience was glowingly positive. It managed to match up with my ridiculous man-child fantasy and I think premise of a rolling LAN party is pretty ambitious. From a party goer stand point, you have a lot of game choices and unless you have like fifty people wanting to play at the same time, there’s something for everyone with little wait time. To be honest, I didn’t want to leave the truck once were settled in. Maybe it was the storm, but I really did not want to leave. I can only imagine a pack of kids feeling the same way once their time is up. That’s what they in the end, kids begging their parents for an extra hour. Cue the “CHA-CHING” sound! In case you’re wondering I did ask if I could live in the truck. Kenneth simply said no and I had to move on with my life. Fantasy ruined.
For more info on a GAMETRUCK, check out GAMETRUCKPARTY.COM and find a truck near you.
Thanks again to Kenneth Levey for letting us nerd out in his truck!