Rob Welkner talks Coin-Op TV, Desert Survival, and the Power of Flight

12 04 2009

This week I had time to catch up with another of my online buddies, Rob Welkner for a Q&A. Rob is host and founder of Coin-Op TV which is an LA based live streaming show on everything Gaming.

Let’s see how Rob handled the CScraps Q&A experience!

Q1: What is an average day like in the Rob Welkner universe?

I spend a ton of time in front of the computer and on the Internet.  We broadcast COIN-OP TV LIVE once a week on Thursdays but that doesn’t mean the work ends there.  The days leading up to a show I am generally doing research on the guest, collecting graphics and video clips to show and reading gaming news and catching up on events.  After an episode airs then I have to make sure that everyone out in cyberspace knows about it by linking on forums, sending out a press release, facebook, twitter, myspace, you name it!  It’s amazing how little time I actually spend doing the show versus the marketing and promotional side of things.  I also do all the booking for guests, graphics and edit the remote video segments.

Q2: Did you ever imagine you’d be knee deep in the gaming/entertainment industry 5 years ago?

I’ve always liked the video game industry as both a fan and as a media journalist.  I used to attend E3 (the largest gaming expo in Los Angeles) while in college.  When I launched COIN-OP TV I expected it to last a few years but I had hoped that it would be further along by now.  What is missing to the puzzle is a company to get behind the show as a sponsor.  We make things look and sound as great as possible and most times we fool people into thinking that the show is a high budgeted produced show but in reality it’s not.  If I had a budget then I could assign people different duties and even expand our reach and quality much further.

Q3: What type of games do you like/hate the most and why do you feel that way about them?

Always been a fan of arcade games and pinball.  It was a real shame to grow up in the 1980s and see both the rise and decline of the arcades.  I understand why things went the way they did with the growth and accessibility of home consoles and PC gaming but it doesn’t mean that I was happy to witness it all go away.  Some of my favorite arcade games are Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Robotron, Crazy Climber and Tempest.  If I see one of these games lying in the back of a store or restaurant you can bet I’ll be sneaking over to drop a quarter in to play.

The games I play now are mostly on the Xbox360.  I love the Guitar Hero franchise as you can tell if you have seen my show.  Some other games I play are Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Katamari, Portal and Mirror’s Edge.  I like games that are crafty, clever and original.  Gears and Rainbow introduced an amazing ‘cover’ system that helped re-define first person shooters.  When it comes to games like Call of Duty – the graphics and gameplay are great but I prefer the duck and cover technique of games that let you hide behind things.  It’s a shame more first person shooters haven’t adopted this into gameplay.

It’s tough to say what kind of games I dislike.  I never got into driving, flying or sports games.  I guess sometime in the future I’ll give them all a second chance but for now I’m a big fan of rhythm games and always look forward to what new version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band is on the horizon.

Q4: What’s the funniest Coin-Op TV moment you can recall.

I’m a serious person with drive and determination but I always try to make sure that everyone involved with COIN-OP TV has a good experience.  I’m in constant communications with Brian Gramo who runs www.TheStream.TV network as for show ideas and brain-storming.  I spoil my lovely co-host Hailey Bright in just about every way possible and make sure that guests who come to the show are relaxed, comfortable and know that we aren’t going to ambush them with questions they’re not prepared to answer.

The funniest moments are usually un-planned.  There are only a handful of live/streaming shows about the video game industry out there.  So if you come on COIN-OP TV you can expect the un-expected.  Not long ago we had a designer from Neversoft (Guitar Hero) on the show and we got a chance to perform a GH: Metallica song on the show with me singing and playing guitars while he played drums and Hailey played bass.  It was a fun show and widely embraced by the fans.  Some of my favorite guests in the past have been Rocco from Mega64, Marissa Petroro (Deal or No Deal), Tommy Tallarico, Chris Gore (G4tv) and so many more I can’t even keep track.

Q5: Coin-Op is fast approaching 5 years old in September. Do you have anything special planned to celebrate the occasion?

In October 2008 we had a huge anniversary party to celebrate four years of doing COIN-OP TV.  The entire year was full of exciting things.  The live show built a strong team with me hosting, Hailey co-hosting and Brian running the network.  We made cool anniversary t-shirts that said ‘since 2004’ on them to show people that we’ve been around and not going anywhere.  The party was a huge success and there are pictures and video floating around all over the Internet.

In 2009, we released a new DVD collection titled COIN-OP TV DVD Volume 2 which is the ‘best of’ the second year of the video podcast show.  I plan to produce and release a volume 3 edition before the end of the year.  With the economy the way it is now – we may hold off on having a large anniversary party celebration – however in May there will be a big party that involves myself and many friends involved with the show in Los Angeles.  In addition to releasing new things and partying – we are always looking for bigger and more important people to bring on the show – send us your suggestions!

Q6: Coin-Op has evolved over the years from Video-Podcast to a Live-Streaming show. Where do you see it evolving to next?

When I launched COIN-OP TV in 2004, the majority of people were still viewing video content on dial-up modems.  It was pathetic how small and lo-res my video clips had to be just so that they didn’t take hours to download.  Eventually technology improved and now video streaming on the Internet is as easy as ever.  The video podcast show involved us traveling to events and shooting self-contained video interviews with game designers, collectors and artists.

Things have flipped now with the live streaming show.  We invite guests into the studio and have a longer time to talk with them and even let our live viewers interact with their own questions and comments.  When Brian launched www.TheStream.TV in Sept 2006 it was one of the only independent live/streaming networks out there.  Streaming live video has become quite the norm these days.  When people started doing audio podcasts, I made video podcasts and when everyone started doing video that’s when we started doing live-streaming.  It’s great to be a pioneer but in many ways you don’t get the reward that you expect.  I think for now we’ll continue doing the live show weekly and try to groom it into something that video game developers take notice of and make sure to put COIN-OP TV on their list of places to visit when promoting new games.

Q7: If you were stuck in the middle of the desert with Brian Gramo and Hailey Bright, how would you survive and subsequently escape?

Well, Brian is pretty tech savvy – he is almost like a MacGyver type in which he can manufacture things from out of nothing.  I’m sure if we had some type of technology with us he could figure out a way to make it work.  As for Hailey – one of her greatest ‘skills’ is making other people happy.  So if we were stuck in a desert for days or months, she would be able to keep both Brian and myself from going insane.  Now that I think about it – I wouldn’t mind Brian escaping and just being stuck with Hailey for a long time in the desert!

Q8: If you could be an animal for a day. What would it be and why?

Always would choose a bird or some kind of hawk.  The ability to fly has always been a dream since childhood.  I can’t imagine how nice it would feel to sore through the open sky and look down at clouds and mountains.  The ironic thing is that I am terrified of heights and just about the biggest wimp when it comes to roller-coasters.

COIN-OP TV LIVE airs live on Thursdays at www.TheStream.TV

The show is archived on the website the next day for all to view on archive.

Additional video content and articles can be found at

You can also find Coin-Op TV at these links:





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: