Robbie Douek (RFRSH): The world has done a great disservice to the gaming community by putting them in a box

Robbie Douek (RFRSH): The world has done a great disservice to the gaming community by putting them in a box

Robbie Douek is passionate about getting jobs his family cannot understand. And when those around him start to get their heads around what he does, he jumps to the next field. And so on. He said it himself at the second edition of Creativity4Better, the global conference organised by IAA Romania. Robbie handled Walt Disney's digital partnerships, worked for Google (in Paris and London) and for Euronews. He is now the president of RFRSH Entertainment and deals with the global tournaments in eSports. During his presentation at the Bucharest National Theatre, he tried to bring everyone along into the eSports universe.

Later on, we spoke about how entertainment changed in the past years, about new consumers, professional gamers, why video games seem to be "a men's world" and how that is changing in 2018.


Changes in entertainment

Thinking about all those companies I worked for, the most important common thing is the ability to make the consumer feel engaged when you're building a business. If you really think about the consumer engagement points, you're halfway there.

Consumers today are very short on time; they get into things and jump out of them at a rate that wasn't the same in the past. The product has to be incredibly compelling. Young consumers today expect to receive precisely the product they want. And if you don't deliver on your brand promise, they're gone before you even had the chance to catch them.

Their reliance on technology is astonishing. And how creative they get with it, this blows me away. My younger cousin of 14 only communicates through Snapchat. He doesn't even send text messages.


Today's gamers

I think the world has done a disservice to the gaming community by putting them in a box - boys stuck in a bedroom playing games at 2 AM. This is very untrue. These guys are truly intelligent. Very, very smart and they're training hard and keeping themselves physically fit. A gamer is a completely different kind of person than 3-4 years ago. Everybody is a Gamer nowadays. That's the point I've been trying to make.

I have games downloaded on my phone. I play Angry Birds and Candy Crush. The longest time I've played a game is probably 3-4 months and then I jumped from one to another. This is what's interesting: there are 3 or 4 games that have been around forever. They managed to keep a creativity component to the game that keeps the audiences continously entertained.


Women & men, equals in gaming

There shouldn't be any reason why men and women couldn't compete in eSports. Traditionally, it's been the male audience that picked it up first, but just recently we've had a Counter Strike female team playing with us on stage. I think we're also dealing with a requirement for more investing in female teams. All in all, it all comes down to the cultural level in a society: if it's acceptable to play, everyone will play. You can see that in some markets around the world. Scandinavia is a fantastic example: men and women are "gaming" together, there are absolutely no differences. I think we'll also see that in South-East Asia. And the rest of the world will catch up.

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