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Gamesfirst! at the Best Buy Party at The House of Blues
posted by: Monica Hafer
date posted: 11:25 AM Tue May 16th, 2006
last revision: 11:25 AM Tue May 16th, 2006

Click to read.On Wednesday the 10th, Best Buy hosted a fabulous party at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip in LA. Official Co-sponsors of the even were EA, Activision, BPM Magazine, Video Game Television Management, Lucas Arts, Rockstar Games, and Velocity.com. This was an invite-only event, and Gamesfirst! was there to give you the inside scoop.

When we first arrived at the House of Blues, the upper floor was dedicated to showing off the latest audio/visual and computer equipment from Best Buy and the latest games from Microsoft and the X-Box 360. The sponsors treated us to free drinks for the first two hours and an assortment of snack items while we were able to roam the many rooms where games were being demonstrated.

If you\'ve never been to the House of Blues, the d?cor is stunning. The Foundation Rooms (as they are called) are all decorated like an Indian Palace, with fireside lounges, velvet couches, sacred prayer rooms with statues of Ganesh and Buddha, and beautiful mahogany paneling throughout. They also have a balcony that overlooks the city-scape of LA. It was one of the ironic mixes of postmodern life to see ancient and modern come together with the original d?cor modified by big-screen televisions and computers, all with the musical backdrop of hip hop and hard rock music and explosions. There were also dancing girls in space-age silver bikinis all along the walkways coming into the club.

I must say that I had quite a bit of fun watching twelve Best Buy employees (each at their own computer workstation) fragging the heck out of each other and talking smack like only longtime gamers can do. There is also nothing funnier than a three-piece-suit executive getting his groove on playing Guitar Revolution. It\'s Jimmy Hendrix for the Computer Age. There were Best Buy employees throughout to answer questions, but I think most of these were for non-gaming executives, as most of us knew exactly what the technology was that we were looking at.

After the initial two hours expired, the VIPs began to arrive, and Jill Hamburger, VP of Games for Best Buy, and Peter Moore, VP of Microsoft, said a few words of welcome to the guests and some thanks to the co-sponsors of the night. They then welcomed to the stage several musical acts, including DJ Z-Trip (who you should recognize from the award-winning documentary Scratch), DJ BT (credited as one of the pioneers of trance), and Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. DJ Z-Trip also brought to the stage some B-boys that totally knocked my socks off. Most of these performers have songs featured on videogames we all know and love.

Although we had walked the floor at E3 all day long, we couldn\'t help ourselves-we had to dance. For self-admitted gaming geeks, we all got down pretty well. I guess maybe DDR has some practical applications after all! Probably one of the most memorable moments of the party was when Tony Hawk came down from the now VIP-only area to say hello. I must say that he is one of the nicest and most down-to-earth stars in our industry. I truly think he deserves all his fame and fortune because of his incredibly good karma.

I think that the combining of forces for this event by Best Buy and Microsoft is no accident, as Microsoft is putting the moves on the industry in it\'s bid for king of not only the \"console wars,\" but the war for your \"virtual livingroom.\" With all the new tech rolling out next season, you\'ll see where entertainment and business collide in our industry and in our personal gaming/entertainment/business lives. But in the meantime, we at least know that they can all put on a smashing success of a party.

(as a side note, the other celebrities in attendance included Bam Margera, JC Chasez, Andrew Keegan, Quddus, Shar Jackson, Clifton Collins Jr., Shawn Pyfrom, Ryan Carnes, Hal Sparks, Howie Dorough, Brande Roderick, Chris \"Jesus\" Ferguson, Tony Gonzalez, Andy Bynum, Samantha Ronson, Michelle Pesce, and Steve Aoki

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