P.O.D. Singer Joins Video Game Company

P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval has become an investor in video gaming events company Gamecaster Inc. He also has been named music director of the firm and will perform as on-camera talent.

P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval has become an investor in video gaming events company Gamecaster Inc. He also has been named music director of the firm and will perform as on-camera talent.

The company has plans to turn video game competitions into a spectator sport franchise with a high profile on television, online and in the physical world. The first official event is scheduled for Aug. 24 in San Diego.

David MacIntosh, president and CEO of Gamecaster, says Sandoval will be responsible for developing the company's music program, which includes the use of popular bands to perform at Gamecaster's upcoming televised video game competitions.

An avid gamer himself, Sandoval also has first-hand knowledge of competitive gaming's potential as a major sport. "Music and video games go hand in hand," Sandoval says. "We were just out on tour with Linkin Park, and they're big 'Halo' fans -- they had two screens hooked up on their tour bus, so they can compete with each other, and they always had about 20 people watching."

P.O.D. always has video games in their dressing rooms as well, Sandoval says. In addition, when on tour the band members often take on fans in bouts arranged by local radio stations.

Besides shaping the live music aspect of the traveling event, Sandoval has signed up as on-air talent in the role of Pit Reporter. He will provide color commentary and interviews with the competitors, helping to build the excitement and develop the human drama, MacIntosh says.

Sandoval says he will be getting his personal network of professional musicians to participate as well, starting with his cousin, P.O.D. drummer Noah "Wuv" Bernardo.

The Gamecaster spectacle will center on a dramatic slowly rotating circular platform, upon which gamers will compete in a winner-takes-all tournament while giant screens beam the action to the venue audience. Live music, and other lifestyle-related activities will all be part of the mix. Television audiences and webcast audiences each will get an experience tailored to their medium.

MacIntosh says the broadcasts will be "an exciting spectator experience, much more than just over-the-shoulder shots of somebody playing," with experienced sports cameramen and a proprietary technology that gives viewers the perspective of actually being inside the game.