Day 2 – Sausage and Trains

With the late arrival of Mark the night before, our contingent was now up to four and, as such, we found ourselves staring down the barrel of a week of schedules and the inevitable last minute changes that are likely to occur. Breakfast was missed in favour of catching up on some much needed sleep, and before we knew it the morning was over. With nothing much exciting happening, focus was turned to winding up Samuel over how someone goes to Gamescom without a notebook and pen, not to mention the whole ‘following Mark into the bathroom thing’ – maybe he’s going all continental on us.

Leaving the hotel, we made our way to the monolithic structure otherwise known as the train station, resisting the urge to jump on a bullet train, and eventually arrived at our destination, the Koelnmesse which, within its gigantic mix of bricks and mortar, will house the next few days’ entertainment.  With the train station sadly being located outside the south entrance, we began the ten minute trek northwards. While myself and Mark commented on the trams, a rather excited Samuel squealed in delight when he spotted a sign for a local Aldi. Our guessing is that his Cornish senses are tingling and there could well be a pasty hiding within its budget priced aisles.

The car from Driver San Francisco bundles past upon the back of a pickup truck – we’re clearly heading in the right direction at least. Past the east entrance we go as the attendees from GDC Europe are mingling outside, more and more poster advertisements are appearing and we’re then greeted by a rather UN looking building. Flags adorn the driveway while, in the distance, building size posters hang above the doorways.  Gamescom… we have officially arrived. Clinically clean is the only way to describe the building; bloody huge would be another and we were still only inside a corridor.

The rigours of the last few months were meaning that E3 was starting to look small in comparison; it couldn’t be, could it? Down the hallway we skipped (possibly), arguing with a fire exit (likely), before arriving at a counter and picking up our industrial strength lanyard held media passes (confirmed). Weighing the options we opted for an explore and extract mission – exploring the media centre and extracting the Coca Cola from within the food area.  Media centres always tend to be hit and miss, but this was easily more hit with nothing amiss. From the easily comfortable chairs (£2500 plus, retail) to the extremely fast internet connection, the HD TVs and well stocked magazine racks, if there was ever a basis for your dream office then this place would surely form the foundations of it; sublime.

Some more Coca Cola in glass bottles arrived at our workstations and, from there on in, we didn’t look back.  What was supposed to be an exploration mission turned into a couple of hours of preparation as we talked, discussed and tinkered. Mark broke one of the mice and began arguing with the German speaking MSN messenger as the sign out button alluded him. After acquiring some lockers, we stashed our complimentary copies of EDGE and MCV and made our way to the exit, queue drama and comedic nonsense.

Lee began to channel Michael Jackson as he attempted to walk down an upwards moving escalator – it was like a deleted scene from Smooth Criminal. Mark and I were in stitches of laughter, while everyone else in the vicinity just looked over with rather hateful gazes. They didn’t say anything, but through the look in their eyes we could tell they were mumbling something along the lines of dumme touristen. By this point Samuel was away from the main group, as he’d splintered off to be fed and watered by Sony, taking in the sights and sounds of the press conference and, no doubt, sampling the delights of Uncharted 3 and a whole lot of Vita loving.

The train station was crowded with gaming type folk, from the GDC to the Gamescom people to the regular gamers on their way home from work; all sides of gaming was represented and, like E3, it was nice to have that feeling of “I am a games type person” without any of the social stigma from back home bearing down – if only it could be like this all the time. Our minds turned to food and, with the clock showing early evening, a day without nourishment behind us was beginning to take its toll. There was a distinct craving for some Currywurst or sausage based product but, just meters away from a food establishment, we get word from Adam who, for the week, is being loaned out to EA.

Having scored an interview with Karl Magnus Troedsson from DICE, all thought of food was put on hold as the faint whirring sound of laptop fans began to emanate from the hotel room once again. As the tip-tap tip-tap reverberated around our makeshift home, the only thing missing was the token Peon cry of “more work”.  With work eventually complete, it was a chance to take in a moment of relaxation as we ventured out for some food. Samuel, we presumed, was still alive somewhere in Cologne and presumably not about to become a viral star in the next Kevin Butler video (although part of us sort of hoped he would). Meat was clearly the theme for restaurants and we eventually found ourselves attracted to the lures of a steak house where much meat was consumed.

The ending fizzled out in typical fashion, an Irish pub fight, a Segway that must have been doing at least 20mph through the centre of town and a rather lost Samuel walking around in the dark looking for us – business as usual then.  As you were, Captain.

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  1. Rook says:

    I’m enjoying this tales of adventure.

  2. Edward Edward says:

    Wow, that press room looks bloody lovely! Wouldn’t mind doing some work in there!

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