GAMING FOR THE NEXT GENERATION Angel Munoz is known for being one of the founding fathers of professional gaming, i.e. e-sports. He also launched one of the first videogame websites back in 1995. After selling his gaming venture to a Singaporean company and taking a few years to rest, he’s recently returned to video games with a new mission: build an online global community just for gamers. His popular ‘Mass Luminosity’ Facebook page grows by over 1,000 new fans a day, and his new social network, ‘Gaming Tribe’ (currently in beta testing) has over 16,000 gamers as members. Can you explain a little about your career so far? I’ve done a bit of everything, worked at restaurants and hotels for a few years, was a stockbroker and investment banker for ten years, owned an art gallery, but it wasn’t until I joined the video game industry that I truly felt my creativity had found full expression. This industry is full of forward thinkers who appreciate new ideas and support daring new projects. I’ve been fortunate to be at the launching pad for a couple of great concepts in our industry, and believe there are a lot more opportunities for success. At our new company, Mass Luminosity, I’ve surrounded myself with a phenomenal team of professionals, and we are proposing that the time for niche social-media networks has arrived. Our initial project is Gaming Tribe, the world’s first massive social network for gamers. What has been your career highlight to date? I am enjoying the process of building Mass Luminosity more than anything I have ever done in the past. I really don’t dwell much in the past. For me, there’s only ‘now and next.’ I definitely enjoy being part of a team that can build new ventures from the ground up. The risk, uncertainty, and stress associated with start-ups are exhilarating. It’s kind of hard to explain, but, in essence, I’m energized by the adrenaline rush of being part of a team that dares to take chances based on our own vision and strategy.
What would you say to any budding stars looking to follow in your footsteps?
When it comes to working with larger organizations what tips can you give to people?
I would say: don’t! Choose your own path, trust your own instinct, and follow your own dream. There’s only one person who can help you achieve your full potential, and that’s you. Leave your own mark on the world. Don’t dwell in the shadows of others. And beyond anything else, do not measure life through the narrow view of success versus failure, as there is no failure in life - only lessons.
It’s crucial to understand the corporate culture of a large company before attempting to provide them with solutions. I have found that many large companies like being part of exciting new projects, but they also value clear and honest communication beyond anything else. If you are wrong, admit it quickly, but if you believe you are right, be prepared to defend it with passion, conviction, and knowledge. Once you are on their budget, and they see progress and benefit, they will be your partners for years to come.
What is your day-to-day like?
How do you build a powerful community like yours?
Extremely busy! We are a small team and we all wear multiple hats, therefore our days are packed with diverse activities. We seriously take multitasking to an entire new level. Let’s see... we manage social branding and promotions for large corporations. We have an active Facebook page (facebook.com/MassLuminosity) that has literally exploded in popularity.
Start by communicating at the same level and to the interest of your audience. Do not simply disseminate information, but engage your audience by soliciting constant and personal interactive communication.
We are building our own social network for gamers called Gaming Tribe (www.gamingtribe.com), and we manage online rebranding for smaller corporations. Not sure how we get it all done but somehow we do. The pace is intense, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Also, eliminate your corporate hierarchy during online interactions. Matt Fornito, Graduate Teaching Assistant at Virginia Tech, had this to say about Mass Luminosity “Consumers have essentially become part of the Mass Luminosity organizational structure, which seems both flat (non-hierarchical) and open to communication (both giving and receiving).” His analysis sums it up pretty well.