|AIRPORT, Salt Lake City. Maybe some of you out
there havent been to E3. In fact, maybe almost none of you have. Well, this was my
first year, and I just sort of lucked into it, so believe me, I understand the pain and
frustration that you must feel knowing that another year has come and gone in which you
didnt get to see any Namco girls. Yes, I am just patronizing you. Anyway, a
conversation I accidentally got on tape at the airport might help. This kid ("some
kid" as I prefer to call him) was on his way to visit his dad in Illinois. The plan
was, he was going to go there, try and get free stuff and money, and mostly listen to his
dad complain about "your mother the bitch." So I showed him forty-five minutes
of footage of the Space Channel 5 Go-go dancers. And after he cried for joy, I hugged him,
and we had a pretzel. We also had this conversation:
Some Kid At the Airport: hey, man, do you have a quarter?
ME: No. But I do have a signed Gary Coleman poster if that will help you out.
SKAA: Whos Gary Coleman?
[Several minutes of digging through six-hundred bags, most of them held together by the electrical tape I had through some remarkable feat of planning or laziness put/left in my backpack. Dramatic unfurling.]
ME: This is Gary Coleman.
SKAA: So you dont have a quarter?
ME: Come on, man, cut me some slackGary was big in the eighties. He even had a cartoon.
SKAA: So? My dad said Martin Short had a cartoon. Who cares?
[I think that sound is me laughing, but it could be something less libelous]
ME: Martins actually doing quite well for himself these days. I just saw him host the Electronic interactive uh annual you know, awards.
SKAA: Ive never even heard of that.
ME: Well, I dont think anyone really has. But they had free drinks. And the Final Fantasy guy was there.
[Kid now showing some signs of interest]
ME: No Mizamozo yama..ha ma or something. I dont know; Im tired. The guy who created Final Fantasy.
SKAA: Hmm. So where was he at, now?
ME: I told you, the intercontinental achievement art he was at E3.
[Kids eyes widen; his pulse quickens; small rivulets of drool emerge from the corners of his lips, beading up in his struggling teenage moustache]
SKAA: You mean like .
[expansive hand gesture]
ME: Yep. Los Angeles. The Electronic uh video game convention.
SKAA: No way.
ME: You dont think Gary Coleman would just be hanging out in the street do you?
SKAA: I told you, I dont know anything about Gary Coleman.
ME: Well, what about Kate Mulgrew?
SKAA: Janeway? Uhnn. [shrug]
ME: Okay Tony Hawk?
SKAA: Tony Hawk? Like, the guy in the video game?
ME: Uh, yeah. He also happens to be one of the best skaters ever. In real life. He was hanging out skating on half pipes all day.
SKAA: They had a half-pipe there?
ME: They had three half pipes there. Two of them were inside, and one was over at the beer party.
SKAA: Holy shit!
ME: You said it. I didnt even know about one of them for two days.
SKAA: Two days? How long were you there?
ME: Four. Including the boring press stuffyou know the PlayStation stuff, the Nintendo stuff.
SKAA: Woah. So, did you see any PlayStation 2 games?
[peals of laugh from me fuzz out the audio for a while]
ME: Uh, yeah. Yeah I did.
SKAA: Did they look cool?
ME: Most of them. Some of them played really sloppy though.
SKAA: You got to play them?
ME: Most of them.
ME: No. I didnt have time by the time I finally got to Mick Foley.
SKAA: Mankind? Oh my god. Oh my god.
ME: Well, I didnt get a lot of time for him, because I had to get to the Toxic Avenger and Space Channel 5 Go-Go dancers.
SKAA: What do you mean Go-Go dancers?
ME: You knowgirls with tight clothes dancing and stuff.
SKAA: So there were some hot girls there?
[more peals of laughter]
ME: Yeah, there were a few.
SKAA: Man. All I have is a PlayStation; I feel like a dork now.
ME: No, man, dont feel that way. Theres some cool stuff coming out for the PSX this year anywayTerracon, Lunar 2, FFIX, Tony Hawk 2 you have nothing to worry about. Although, you should probably get a Dreamcast.
SKAA: Why? I heard that sucked.
[I must have been giddy, because I start laughing again]
ME: I used to think that too. But Jet Grind Radio is the coolest game I have ever seen well, that might be going too far considering Kessen and Dynasty Warriors, and well it was really cool though.
SKAA: Shit. I would, but I have to save up for a PlayStation 2. Isnt it going to be like almost 400 bucks?
ME: Nope. $299.
SKAA: Well, thats a little better, I guess.
ME: Hey, its a DVD player too, what do you want?
SKAA: Yeah. Whens it come out?
ME: October 26 Next fall.
SKAA: So you just got to hang out and play cool games, meet babes, and drink beer all day?
ME: Well, the beer wasnt around all day, which was lucky for me but basically, yeah. Except that I have to write a shitload of articles now, which is really a bummer.
SKAA: Lame. Maybe you can find some way out of that.
ME: Thats the hope.
SKAA: So who do you work for? A magazine or something?
ME: A Website. Gamesfirst.com. Have you ever seen it?
SKAA: I dont know, maybe. Do you have cheats on it?
ME: Yes, [irritably] we have cheats on it. But there are other things in the world.
SKAA: Hmm. So, do you have any pictures of the Go-Go girls?
[I know I was smiling at this point]
ME: Lets sit down. Let me show you a video