EIEIO 2008: Gamecock’s office tamer than you’d think, but just what you’d expect

Wearing a black t-shirt and mariachi pants, Gamecock CEO Mike Wilson gave me a tour of Gamecock Media Group’s main headquarters in downtown Austin, Texas. Following a wild evening of EIEIO activities, I was astounded to see him functioning like a human being at this hour of the morning. His hair is a bit of a wreck and he was desperately clinging to a cup of hot coffee, but otherwise he looked to be a pretty good shape. It occurred to me: Wilson probably is used to a lot of late nights.

Wilson has somewhat of a storied history in the industry, starting way back in the days when id Software were hailed as rock stars, and later on he founded Ion Storm and then Gathering of Developers. He’s no stranger to the industry, and despite Gamecock’s penchant for over-the-top marketing antics and wild nights, one can’t be this successful without a certain level of experience and professionalism. That said, Mike Wilson’s work desk is a tiki bar, and another homemade desk consisting of two beers kegs and a surfboard sits in the corner of his office.

The space Gamecock has chosen to be home has an interesting history as well, being the site of one of Austin’s first doctors; as the practice few, it was eventually turned into a hospital of sorts. If you’re picturing long hallways and traditional hospital rooms, that’s not quite the case. The space is a two-story home, all dark wood and historic architecture. Wilson’s office has a skylight above it, and I was told this was the room where surgeries were performed. The superstitious have said that the space is haunted, and just to play it safe, the Gamecock team performed a séance after moving in.

On the morning of my visit, the office is calm, the aftermath of EIEIO 2008 likely the culprit. There are no people in Hail to the Chimp costumes running amok like I would have expected, but I’m not disappointed. There are more than enough touches of Gamecock’s eccentricities, from a cart filled with boxing over-sized boxing gloves to a cape draped casually across a coat rack.

Before I start snapping some pictures, I ask Wilson if there’s anything that’s off limits, anything he wouldn’t want on the Internet. He makes a face and then looks around his office — it’s littered with phallic promotional merchandise and videogames.

“And what might that be?”

Nick Chester