Saturday, August 14, 2010

1 vs. Chris Cashman: The Interview (Part 3)

On June 15, 2010 Microsoft announced the cancelation of the highly touted Xbox 360 experience known as 1 vs 100. Chris Cashman, host of the show, recently sat down with us for a chat where he discussed a variety of topics. In the third and final part of our interview we discuss his successes as a result of working on 1vs100 and ask if he has a final message for fans of the show.

Follow this link for our interview audio or check out the interview transcript following the jump.  Hint: You can right click > save as to download the audio to your computer. Our full length interview audio will be available on Monday, August 16.

Tugs: So you felt pretty proud about being able to write Xbox Live Video Game Host on your resume, because no one else can do that right now.  Is that right?
Chris: Yea, well anonymously, I would do local events and things, hosting events and award shows around the area, and that would always be a big part of the bio. The marketing is, “The host of 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live! Reaching over 20 million users around the world!!” Cause it sounds so sexy, and it is! It’s so cool! And then, I’d be like “Alright, how many people here have played along on 1 vs 100?!” And there’s be one guy in the back going “*slow clapping* Yeah! Wooooo!” Cause I realized that it was this thing that’s so massive and so reaching, and at the same time, a lot of these I was at were old grey haired guys that weren’t quite hip to what it was that I was doing. But at the same time, people were always very seduced by it. Like, “Wow! You’re the host of the … So tell me about this thing! What … what is it?” And a conversation I had with a guy the other day, that I’ll be working with on the radio, the same thing, he said he had been looking up my bio, and he was most impressed by this 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live. “That sounds so amazing! Tell me about it!” People were so curious about it, if they weren’t familiar with it. If they were familiar with it, they got it! And they were jealous as they should be! Thinking, “No fair! That’s your job?!?”
T: Oh! Definitely! So, have you seen any other success then, as a result of your hosting? Or is it too early to say?
C: You mean in terms of Xbox or with me?
T: Have you seen any direct success from 1 vs 100?
C: For me, personally, it’s just been cool because it was too much fun, and I really hoped that it would be a long term relationship, because I just became so fascinated with, quite frankly, a lot of the culture that I was not totally hip to before it, and especially since, for a couple years, I was totally unplugged because my wife and I were having children.  So I mean I was, I’m either watching cartoons or sleeping.  So, all of a sudden I get to be a part of it, and to see what’s going on with ComicCon.  It’s just become so massive, and with PAX and these conventions, and I just very quickly became seduced, and I really said to myself, and to my wife, “If I could pick one avenue of radio/tv/all this stuff that I’m trying to do, to work, this would be it.”  I really hope to be successful in this because it’s such a fascinating platform and a group of people, and the audience is so passionate.  For better or worse!  Sometimes it can work against you, but people are so into games and this world and any given night, I’d throw out any average question on the show.  They say, “Hey!  We have a couple of chat pads you can give away, Chris!” “Cool! Let me do a pop quiz!” “Alright!” And then I’d throw out a question and say “What do you think? Do you have an answer? E-Mail me at!”  And within 30 seconds, they would turn the monitor around and I would see the inbox, and it would just be a constant reload.  Within a couple of minutes, we’d have 3,000 e-mails. In radio and TV, you have to wait for the ratings.  You have to wait to hear, did that work?  We don’t know.  Ratings are, let’s be honest, just a big guestamation.  It really is a completely inaccurate science, ratings. I was able to, with this game world, I was able to see it tangibly. First of all, I’d see 3,000 people just e-mailed. OK!  That was fun, that was worth our time to do. I was also able to see how many people were logging on to play the game. It was immediate results to play the game. We were immediately able to see there’s 40,000 people playing right now. So that’s the part of it that was fascinating to me, totally overwhelming to me.  The part that makes me sad that maybe they weren’t able to monetize it, because I just think, the proof was right there!  There’s the results!  It was right there! There’s the people playing!  So again, it was the very bittersweet part of the game to me.
T: Oh definitely. And I’m sure that a lot of fans would feel the same way if they were in your shoes, without a question. So, we’re running low on time here.  So the final question I want to ask you…
C: Yes, my chopper is warming up right now!
T: Exactly!
C: I’ve only got fuel for the trip!
T: Do you have anything you would like to say to fans of the show, now that it’s been cancelled?
C: There’s … to be honest, I don’t feel like I want to say this big sappy, “Thank you for everything! So long!” because I still think we were on to something, and I’m going to keep a candle lit that we will get to reunite one way or another.  I really do, I just think that we were on to something, and I’m certainly going to be doing everything I can to be a team player and available in case something else surfaces.  If it should be the case where it’s five years from now, and I think, “Bummer! We never got to do anything again!” I guess it’s almost needless to say, but needed. I really enjoyed it just like any dude or dudette at home who was playing this game, who would on many occasions, e-mail me and say, “You lucky devil! This has gotta be the coolest job in the history of the world!” And I agree, exactly! As much as some of you guys might have liked to go on and play, and people would say “I played with my kids, and I loved it because I try to get my kids off [to bed] and they wanted to [stay up], and so I’d have to bribe them with Xbox, but then we would play 1 vs 100, and it was perfect because they were learning something. We were doing it together, or guys who would say, “My girlfriend hated when I was on Xbox, but she would totally play 1 vs 100 with me, so it was perfect!” It’s like, I get it!  I was there! Exactly! It was just as much as you might have liked playing, I would get to drive into Microsoft Studios twice a week, and walk into this studio, and look at the same screen that you guys look at, and fire it up and know that I may not get to see you guys, but this was about to happen. This giant group entertainment experience was about to happen, and it was just this cool goosebump experience, twice a week! For that, I would forever be thankful to not only Xbox for the opportunity, but of course to the people because this could have been a dud! It could have been cancelled because nobody cared! It could have been cancelled because nobody played it. But they did!  By the tens of thousands, every week!  It’s hard to not paint it anything but a success!  It really was!  It was successful and it was a blast to do, and it only worked because people logged on to play, and they had fun, and they responded to questions, and they sent me funny pictures and videos! So for that, it’s just like, what can I say other then thanks, because it was just too cool, and I really do believe that because of how passionate the crowd was, and the people who participated every single week, and the people who have since kind of thrown a fit on the blogosphere, I don’t know.  I just got to wonder if something isn’t going to resurface, one way or another. Maybe a year or two years down the road. Maybe a whole other game! And maybe it won’t even be obvious that it was a direct result from this.  The people have been so cool and so passionate about it that I got to think that the guys sitting upstairs with the big tweed jackets, behind the mahogany desk, eventually, eventually this research is going to get to them, and they’re going to say, “Man, this thing is on fire! What can we do to fix this? People love this. Well, let’s fix it, let’s do something.” So I got to think that sooner or later, the cream will rise.
T: And you know the technology is always there. They’re going to keep it, the capacity to run the show, or a variant of it, is always there. And you never know, Microsoft has done more surprising things in history, so there’s always that hope. So, I want to thank you for coming on. 
C: You got it!
T: I wish you the most success possible.  It sounds like you’ve got great aspirations, let’s hope they come through!
C: Tugs, thank you man!

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