Traffic jams and riots. A center filled with flash, glitzy signs… and hordes of nerds.
Welcome to E3 2010: the Lakers are in game 7 edition.
I watched the downpour of exclamations for the latest and greatest toys of the moment on various twitter and facebook feeds. I checked up on the news on some of my favorite (perhaps biased) news outlets.
Strangely enough, with the exception of that first day, I really didn’t care as much about weather I’d be able to attend or not. The thrill of E3 just wasn’t what it used to be.
I thought about it and wondered- what changed? At one time I was so determined to go to as many events as I could. Nothing would satiate my palate. Events that I was told I couldn’t get into? I didn’t take no for an answer. I’m bad with no’s sometimes. This- one of the most major conferences of the year would have been a given that I wouldn’t accept that. Was it that I had just become numb from one too many? I mean, I have been to quite a few…
There are a few conferences a year which rank up there in high importance to me: professionally and personally. Last year I was told I would not get into 2 of them: E3 and E4all only to somehow find a way. I honestly didn’t expect it this time. It just… well sort of found me. It is a happenstance that has been occurring quite a bit these past few months.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I was able to attend- albeit only a day and for miscellaneous parties on time in between work and well, more work. It was more than enough.
This year is the first in many that I was not attending as Press. Instead, it was a covert operation made possible by one fellow Culver City crusader as I played the part as someone… in town from Turtle Beach.
Walking the halls of the Staple Center this year was a window into my past. I barely work in gaming nor have I been penning as a journey from the sidelines currently. I have been swallowed whole by a different world and popped right back again.
It’s the wee hours of the morning at my last day of contract work for a toy company with a small MMO in beta- and in the silence of the office, I’m left to think about the proceeding days off and into the world of my past.
It seems that this time of year is an intersection. This year, however more than others. But we’ll dig deeper into why later.
People from all over the globe come together to this spot. Like many other conferences, the attendees share a passion. Fundamentally this is one that has been something that holds a very special place in my heart. It is one of two most prominent forms of entertainment for me since childhood: video games and comic books.
I arrived late. A meeting with a client after a very full night out to a couple of parties the night prior had me on a bit of a later start that I had planned. Add to that the extra chaotic parking fubar of a big city full to the brim.
I got lost in the city. I don’t know how that’s possible considering I’ve been here nearly 3 years but it happened. It has happened quite a bit since I’ve lived here but given that it’s a huge convention center it’s a bit of a stretch even for me.
I’d gotten lost the night prior as well. After being accompanied to find my car by one who claimed to know the way but apparently had too many free drinks at the Cheap Ass Gamer after party at the Golden Gopher I ended up in an area not my home. I am positive it was not from the amount I imbibed. I have been cutting back considerably and only had a couple of beers despite it being open bar. It was peculiar. This month has been full of moments like these: of journeys and arrivals to destinations unknown.
My cohort greeted me. I would assume this alter ego as I walked the halls with the rest of the entourage. I met up with my best friends from Fantastic Forum. But my day was mostly spent with the crew of Angry Bananas.
The boys showed me the ropes of what had been missed of the con so far. Luchadores. Epic Mickey. Move. The new dance game. The Comic game. Marvel vs. Capcom.
And as much fun as I had while walking around, I still found myself somewhere else.
E3 has been a week where I will see people and get messages from my past. Failed lovers. Secret affairs. Near romances. Friends from past lives. Of people known digitally from cross country and halfway around the globe.
It is a time where I remember where I have been. Of the collection of people both good and bad I have had in my life. How they’ve effected me. How they have colored the canvas.
I was only there one day but it was enough.
To the lovers I have had in the past. To my former coworkers. To the people I have met along the way…
This hasn’t been the easiest time for me. It’s a test. I am breakable. But I am capable of being repaired. Time and time again.
Time and time will pass again.
And while not all of my intersections this year brought up the best of memories, I feel stronger because of them.
I’m looking forward with anticipation of the unknown… of next year and the next conference and the other miscellaneous destinations that I arrive and exit along the way.