Interview with creators of Bartendo Kickstarter; bringing together gaming and booze

Ink Whiskey, creators of the Retro Game Flask, agreed to a short interview on their recent Bartendo Kickstarter.

Recently, GameSkinny got in touch with Ink Whiskey, makers of the Retro Game Flask, and creators of the Bartendo Kickstarter.  Matthew Cornell, the CEO of the group, took the time to answer a few questions about how Ink Whiskey got into the business, and why they chose to make retro game-themed products.

SwordandSorcery: How did you get into creating alcohol paraphernalia? 

Matthew Cornell: We used to get together and play Dr. Mario tournaments over a few drinks, or just play the most retro game of all, Chess, over a few drinks and just come up with stuff we wanted to own. Then one day I just decided to start making it. After the Retro Game Flask, the other stuff just fell into place. 

SS: Why make it retro game themed?

MC: Haha, good question. What you want is often what you wish you had when you were a kid. Anyone between the ages of 25-45 remembers the original consoles and grew up on them for the most part. You couldn't always have every single game, but you always remembered the games you had or the ones you wanted.

Now that we're older, it's nice to take return visits down memory lane. Be a kid again. There's a certain level of excitement that you can only attain as kids. It's so strong it usually sticks with you your whole life. For us, and apparently many like us, it's pointed at the original consoles we grew up on.

Except that now, we might not have time for a good ol' living-room-sit-down game session. With the various responsibilites that come with being an adult, we figure if you've got time to sit down and have a drink, you're pretty lucky, haha. The hope, and maybe even the reality, is that these products sort of combine the two. Feeling the sense of nostalgia in tandem with a "time-out" from adult responsibilities makes a really awesome experience. Like a metaphysical cocktail.

Warp Shot Glass

The Warp Shot Glass, designed to look like one of the pipes Mario travels through.

SS: What are the criteria for choosing what games to make items from?

MC: We usually stick to the games that had the most staying power. Sometimes we branch out and do more cult classic games. It's really whatever we feel strongly for. If it has a good pun-able name, we'll make a label for the flasks too, haha.

SS: How easy was it to start up your business? 

MC: HA! Not very. I can't tell you how many times I've had to ask friends for favors, or how many times I wanted to give up. Jeez, even after our first product was successful, there were so many times we had to make a death-or-glory kind of choice. If you're lucky, you can afford to make a few mistakes, but you have to be on your game all the time. There is no end. It's scary, but it's so so worth it. 

 The Capper Gun Bottle Opener, based on the NES Light Gun accessory for Duck Hunt. 

SS: Do you have any plans to expand further, perhaps with another Kickstarter? If so, would you give us a small peek into your future plans? If not, why?

MC: For now, we're going to focus our efforts on this Kickstarter's products and getting them into as many hands as possible. If there is more down the road, we'll definitely let you know. We've got our hands full at the moment, haha!

If the Kickstarter is successful, the Bartendo line of products should be shipping out to Kickstarter supporters in December 2015, in time for the holiday season. 

For more reading, check out the about page on their site, or their Facebook page.

Published Jul. 6th 2015
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