#EventProfs, you won’t find it on a GPS. This is a place you can only get to by following passion. Welcome to the intersection where play meets work, where games are taken super seriously. This is the world of Games Done Legit. It is a new world created by event professional, Chris Hatala.
You could call it fulfilling his “digital destiny.”
Games Done Legit is based in Cleveland, Ohio. It delivers unique, interactive video gaming event experiences for kids 60 and under. They offer Atari to Play Station to Xbox and more. They work to create play for corporate meetings and industry events. They do it for Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs. They do it as educational programs in schools. And a growing niche in their business is providing video game fun at wedding receptions.
Photo: Raise the Roof Entertainment
For Chris Hatala, his love of gaming is without a doubt a “til death do us part” thing.
“I’ve been playing video games my whole life,” says Hatala. “I started playing the Street Fighter series competitively when I was in college. Then my friend and I created one of the largest video game tournaments in the world. I realized my passion was to entertain people, especially through video games. I just kept working on this idea. Then a few years ago, a school came to us to run a program for their kids.”
From that point, it was…game on. Games Done Legit became a legitimate business for Chris Hatala.
“We want people to get everything they need for a price that works,” says Hatala. “Video gaming entertainment for special events is new to the industry. But it’s people doing something they already love. They’ve played video games with siblings, or friends down the street. With us, they get to re-live these great memories with co-workers. It’s just fun. We get people together in a really unique way. They bond through the amazing social power video games have.”
Games Done Legit sets up the games according to your rules and needs, not theirs. They can create tournaments for you, or your people can enjoy open play. “I always ask, ‘What demographics are we looking at?’ Different ages respond to different types of games. We know what games are popular for what age, and which ones you can simply pick up and play.”
Chris Hatala says video games at live events is a valuable tool. It’s one they use around the world for people to interact with each other in a positive way. “Video games are a part of our culture today. There is more information coming out looking at the positives. Playing is good for building the skills of problem solving and attention to detail, even resilience.”
“It’s so fun to take a nostalgic feel at corporate events,” he says. “I love seeing the looks on the faces of people playing a game like Space Invaders they haven’t played in 30 years.”
Age may be the only difference. That’s because Chris has seen playing games help people to connect and realize how alike they are. “When playing, all that matters is the fun of competing or working together,” he adds. “There are no labels or titles or names. It’s just enjoying the power of social engagement, fostering teamwork, and camaraderie.”
Photo: ILEA Cleveland Chapter
Speaking of camaraderie, Chris credits the kind members of the Cleveland ISES Chapter (now ILEA) for playing along so nicely. “The people were just so supportive of each idea and niche,” he says proudly. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of all the mentors I had. Our success is thanks to some amazing event professionals who encouraged me, and helped me get to this point.”
Chris Hatala knows this is a very exciting time for technology. He knows it with events. He knows it with video games which are played regularly by nearly 1 in 2 Americans.
“We’re always trying to evolve and bring people together through active digital entertainment,” says Hatala. “Gaming is more and more relevant with each generation. And virtual reality is going to change entertainment.”
“It is impossible to explain until you try it. We have PC-based virtual reality you can play on a giant screen so others in the audience can also see what the player is doing in real time. The emergence of virtual reality is incredible. It will change corporate events, how we educate, how we communicate, and more. Even people who don’t like gaming are amazed by it. Virtual reality is such an intense wow factor. We haven’t seen anything like it since the birth of color TV.”
That’s great news for a 3-word business based on a 3-word mission:
Games Done Legit…Makes People Smile.
You’re not rolling the dice. Games Done Legit can work for your event. For more information, visit their website or call Chris Hatala directly at (216) 505-0435.