My E3/Joystiq Experience

The past week of mine has been rather… adventurous, to say in the least. I probably had some of the strangest things happen to me the past week than the last three months combined. No, Tuesday and Thursday has been some of the greatest fun I’ve had around LA, and just recently have I been able to actually… recuperate my sleeping habits thanks to it. With the coming of E3 to my home city of LA, there were multiple meetups for Los Angelinos to enjoy- even though E3 was press only, there were many events open for the general gaming public to enjoy. Capcom had a party to allow the public to play Street Fighter 4, for example. I wasn’t very open to most of them- I doubted I would be able to go to Kotaku’s party, for it was held at a bar (I’m only 20). I was simply looking through them all when one caught my eye- the Playstation.Blog meetup, appealing to me as I was a fan of the blog. The Playstation Blog meetup was on tuesday, held at the King Taco a couple of blocks away from the main LA Convention center, and found half of the whole place taken up by fans of the Playstation community. They were easy to spot, as most of them had PSPs on them and were… well, nerds. Free food was offered there, so much of it that when regular people off the street noticed all the nerds were getting free food, they would pretend they were with us (the King Taco people caught on quickly and began asking people what the party was for). Here’s a picture of everyone who came, exempt maybe four or five people that left early: Thanks to all who came out! (finding me in this picture isn’t hard AT ALL) Free shirts celebrating the Playstation blog’s 1st year of existence were given out, and I was able to meet Jeff Rubenstein, the guy in charge of the official playstation blog. He had a kickin belt buckle that had the Triangle, Square, Circle and X of the playstation controller on it. He held a PSP tournament for a limited edition PS3 with Metal Gear Solid 4- unfortunately, I had no PSP, so I couldn’t play in it. I simply just talked to people and watched the tournament, and that was fun enough for me. I find that I am nervous when meeting people, but when finally getting the courage to do so pushes me to say the first words, the nervousness melts away, and it was fun talking to other video gamers that were as knowledgeable as I was in the industry. Talking to people there, I met with two of the writers for one of the sub-blogs for the Joystiq community, PS3 Fanboy, Andrew Yoon and Jem Alexander, as they walked in late thanks to a previous appointment. They were engaging to talk to as the PSP tournament wore on, and as the party wrapped up, both had a tired look on their faces, a look i recognized after walking around a convention all day. I offered them and some other bloggers rides, which was met with many thanks. After giving them a ride, they mentioned I should go to the Joystiq meetup party, and I would get some good schwag from the party for my kind ride. I hadn’t thought about going, but the idea of free stuff… well really, would you have passed up the free schwag? The Joystiq Party was held at Mahalo.com headquarters in Santa Monica- and that was FUN. Rock Band 2 was there, as well as multiple people from the Playstation blog meetup that recognized me there. Meeting the joystiq crew was well… fun. Each and every one of them were incredibly fun to talk to and very kind. I’m used to the very uptight and anti-social webcomics crowd, so to talk to these people about video game topics was engaging. I was supposed to play a game of Rock Band 2 with some of the people from the Playstation Blog meetup (Jeff Rubenstein included) to perform System of a Down’s “Chop Suey” only to be replaced at the last minute by someone else. They failed their performance, and I would like to believe it was due to the lack of… well my awesome self. Once the party ended, I ran into Christopher Grant, one of the head bloggers and the host of the Joystiq podcast. I offered to help clean up the place and to offer a ride to some of the bloggers, which was once again met with incredible enthusiasm. After cleaning up, I stuffed into my car five bloggers, three being Andrew and Jem (again) as well as Ludwig, another of the podcast hosts. (I leave out the names of the other bloggers for a purpose) We set out for the Joystiq crew’s hotel in Beverly Hills. On the way, someone in the car suggested food, and i drove to In-And-Out burger, packed to the brim with customers. Sitting in the car with some exhausted bloggers while lines for The Dark Knight snaked around the back of my car made me realize that I would have been home right now, on IRC and on my PS3 playing games, and to get out like this was… refreshing! After getting the burgers, we drove down a major intersection, sitting in a second turn lane of a very busy street to hear someone heaving in the backseat. Someone was throwing up in my car. I stopped the car in the street as to let the person continue to throw up into the street, and finally made the left turn into the turn lane onto a small grassy area. As soon as we stepped out, the sprinklers went off, spraying everyone with a fine mist. I rushed into the back of my car, trying to find something to help out the sick person with, only to find an empty brownie pan and random objects my sister had left in my car. I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation- it was probably after midnight, sitting in a car of people i didn’t know, getting soaked, and any other person would have been enraged at this point, but I loved it. I loved every second of it. The realization that NO one would believe this story. After getting all the wet people back into my car, we drove to a swanky little hotel in beverly hills. Imagine this senario- a ’92 LeBaron pulling into this upscale hotel in beverly hills and getting valet parking in the process (again, yet another surreal part of the evening) at about 12:05 am. I went upstairs to the Joystiq HQ- a medium sized conference room with a long conference table, mini-refrigerator, and TV/DVD combo. I simply sat there and watched as the Joystiq crew got down to work, checking emails and conversing. A second group of the crew walked in fresh from going to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, declaring that food to be heavenly and the chicken to be “actually be unicorn meat”. Their confused faces upon seeing me again after the party there were quickly answered by Ludwig, as they laughed at the story so far, and apologized profusely. Justin McElroy (one of the regulars on the Joystiq podcast) walked in with a regal step and presented a porno he had bought from a “vampire hunter” outside of Roscoe’s. Everyone on the crew freaked out as he made the move to turn on the TV to present the film (he didn’t thankfully enough, but he did disappear for a bit to return with a new t-shirt on). The film was of… the colored variety and had a name involving time, but the full name escapes me, probably for the better. Watching the Joystiq crew in action was incredibly interesting. These people all have a love of video games that’s simply indescribable as they spoke about their favorite games at the conference, or the horrible Konami press conference Ludwig had to sit through. At one point, a video circulating the many gaming blogs was shown (involving… um… garlic) and an impromptu mass showing of the video was done on 12 laptops all at the same time. The bloggers laughed like it was the first time they had seen the video, even acting out certain parts and crying out lines from it, which later received complaints from the hotel. I left the Joystiq hotel about 12:45 am, with a pretty rancid smelling car and a very weary body, still trying to comprehend the night that had happened so far. Thanks to all of this, I was mentioned in the Joystiq Podcast, referred to as “the Ethan Hawke character from Training Day” (listen starting around 62:00 for the mention). I also made an appearance on Mahalo’s Mahalo Daily show, talking about Tetris (you’ll find me in there, it’s not that hard). My swag from the party was this: Photobucket a copy of Metal Gear Solid 4, a game I had planned on buying with my next paycheck, as well as a guitar that would work with Rock Band and Guitar Hero- a perfect addition to my current Rock Band pack. Only yesterday, I had recieved this game as a thank you gift: Photobucket On the packing slip for Battlefield: Bad Company was a special comment, reading “BLEURGH!! Thank you for saving us twice! Love, Joystiq” Thank you for a memorable time, Joystiq. I loved every second of it.

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