Interview with Chris Dammacco
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Chris Dammacco began as a cheese broker for the majority of Midwestern states until one day he confronted a video game shop owner about the poor treatment of his customers; the owner’s response was “If you don’t like the way I do things, then why don’t you start your own shop”, and that’s exactly what he did. Dammacco founded Windy Gaming officially in January of 2015, but first invested in the idea in September of 2012. Windy Gaming specializes in import games, specifically from Japan. He mostly runs the business by himself; the only help he gets is a mechanical engineer that comes in once a week to repair games and two unpaid college students who assist him during convention weekends. The majority of his inventory is games from the late 80s and early 90s because this is the era that Dammacco finds most intriguing. Windy Gaming attends several gaming conventions a year, the favorite being the Midwestern Gaming Convention. At Windy Gaming’s first year at this convention, they only had two eight-foot tables; this past year they had grown so much as to be able to purchase a private room. Dammacco was able to meet many famous internet personalities and players through these conventions some of which included James Rolfe and the hosts of the “Sat Guys” YouTube channel. These two to three day conventions can bring in as much as five figures according to Dammacco and make up a majority of his sales. Dammacco’s friendly treatment of the buyers has created a league of loyal customers that will follow go so far as to follow to him to conventions. Each product he sends out comes with a hand written, personalized note from Dammacco expressing gratitude for their purchase. Dammacco will facetime, skype, email, tweet, Facebook message, call, and the like if the customer wants a deeper understanding of the product or inventory as a whole. The most unique thing about Windy Gaming is that despite sales being entirely online, Dammacco strives to make himself known so the customer is aware that it is a man they are making deals with, not a soulless computer screen. He also makes an effort to keep prices as low as possible in order to cater to the player so they can enjoy the experience of the game without the guilt of overpriced items. Dammacco feels the poor treatment of the players and customers in this industry will be its eventual downfall because the overpriced, never to be played games that certain vendors are selling are not true to the real meaning of a video games. Games are a hobby meant to be enjoyed by those who love to play. His efforts at creating a standard for pricing and customer interaction are making an impact on the gaming industry. The amount of growth that Windy Gaming has produced in such a short time is truly amazing and serves as a commentary on the success of the modern video industry. Prospects are high for Chris Dammacco’s Windy Gaming as well as the gaming industry as a whole.