Hollywood Is Nerding Out and Networking With Online Video Games

We imagine Hollywood wheeling and dealing to be much like what happens on Entourage. There’s booze, lavish lunches and maybe even pool parties with pretty ladies. But the LA Times has the real scoop on how Hollywood is networking and making deals these days… through online video games.

Every Thursday night, up-and-comers in Hollywood calling themselves Nerd Poker, play an Xbox Live game together and sometimes end up making deals and connections. The 95-member strong group started two years ago when Misher Films executive Kevin Chang and Variety reporter Ben Fritz wanted to do a little online gaming without being taunted by teen nerds. So they started an online gaming group of their own and invited friends in the biz.

"While the aim was not necessarily to do business, I think the casualness and the lack of pretense made us all really close," said Mr. Chang told the LA Times. "And who wouldn’t want to do business with friends?"

Through the Nerd Poker group, screenwriter Justin Marks and William Morris agent became close to a Capcom executive. When the executive was looking for a writer to help with a comic book version of its game Bionic Commando, the three agreed Marks should write it.

Mr. Fritz wrote a story about Nerd Poker in May.

Online play is a unique and often contradictory experience. It creates social interaction, but is also a solitary activity. (I have debated whether drinking while playing is the same as having a beer during any other social activity, or if I’m simply somebody drinking alone on my couch.)

But the question remains: While networking is occurring, is there any remorse about not reading a script, or poring over a contract one more time? (Personally, I wonder: Would I have written a better story if I’d spent more time writing and less time "researching"?)

Ah the eternal question. But he concludes that gaming is becoming an important networking tool for young Hollywood. So get your game on, nerds.

Hollywood Is Nerding Out and Networking With Online Video Games