E3: My Journey, Figuratively and Literally – Part 2
Not sleeping for long periods of time is not recommended. Seriously kids, sleep is worth its weight in gold and will probably be the reason I’m sent to an early grave. If you’re not sleeping because you’re trying to burn the candles at both ends, well then, you’ve only got yourself to blame. If, on the other hand, you’ve done an ten hour flight, stayed awake to avoid getting jet lag and then been given indigestion by the only proper food you’ve eaten today, well, that’s just bad luck, right? It’s currently 5:00 am Los Angeles time, which means everyone in Britain (and by everyone I mean some), is currently enjoying the bank holiday and the Queen’s Jubilee. I’m enjoying the after-effects of a BBQ half pounder with sizzled onion strips. I may have had four hours sleep after being awake for twenty six, but it’s worth it. Ask me again in twelve hours and you may get a different story.
After landing at LAX yesterday, a certain amount of relief washed over me for two reasons: firstly, I was able to stand up and move around. Secondly, the pilot (who was making me more nervous by the minute) had got us to the ground. The flight was fine up until our descent. Now, I’m no pilot but I do know a little about planes, having played hundreds of hours of realistic simulators and been on a fair share of flights. She’s either mistaken the Boeing 747 she was flying for an F14 Tomcat or mistaken LAX for a fucking aircraft carrier because she was too high and too fast on the approach.
She banked us down quickly, reduced speed, saw the potential cluster-fuck of paperwork she’d have to fill out if she crashed into one of the busiest terminals in the world, so promptly shoved the throttle down and pitched us up. Great job, lady. I could fly this thing with fucking Xbox Kinect with more competency. She got on the radio and started citing ‘another aircraft was in front of us’. Wait, what the fuck? Well it didn’t appear out of fucking thin air did it!? It’s hardly a bag of fucking peanuts! Next she’ll be telling me a Russian Jet Fighter got a missile lock and we had to take evasive action. Listen lady, you aren’t Harrison Ford and this isn’t Air Force One, so land the damn plane!
Once on the ground we had to get through customs. Not the hardest job in the world, seeing as I’ve been through Australia’s customs and they might as well tie me to a chair and beat me about the face with a kangaroo cock for all the fucking questions they ask you. I wasn’t expecting anything as bad as that. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two was hesitating when asked if I was bringing any fucking soil into the country. Well only the stuff in my pants mate, and that’s because of the stuff they passed off as ‘chicken’ during the flight. Any alcohol ( I would have consumed it), vegetables (where the fuck am I going to hide a fucking turnip?), insects ( you caught me, I’m Spider-Man, I confess), what countries have I been to prior to the United States? (What the fuck? Ever? Today? In the last five years? Give me some parameters you ass-hat) Look pal, just ask me the only two questions you actually care about. Am I a terrorist? Am I planning to kill anyone? Both no? Marvellous, give me my fucking bag and I’ll be on my way.
After getting through that ordeal and collecting the rental car we made our way to the Los Angeles Convention Centre. This is where E3 is held and where I would be spending most of the next week. You see plenty of videos on the internet, both of the exterior and interior. Nothing can actually prepare you for the size of the building. It’s like someone built five Wembley Stadiums and stuck them together. When I got my hands on my media pass, with my name on it, it was like everything hit me at once. The realisation, the excitement, the understanding that I had arrived. I had arrived in the promised land. I kept tapping Zero on the shoulder, pointing at my pass and grinning like a man who’d been smashed round the head with a shovel a few dozen times.
After heading to the house and chilling out, we met Claas from Lace Mamba, an extraordinarily awesome dude, and a great laugh, before heading out for a much-needed meal at Bubba Gump’s (yes, from the film Forest Gump), where we tucked into some of the tastiest food that we had eaten in what felt like an age. After heading back to the car, contemplating stealing a golf cart and re-naming the car park to “Mr Ste’s Cunty Parking” due to the fluctuating height requirements, we headed home for some well earned rest.
At least, that was the plan. It’s now five thirty and sleep still evades me. The sun is rising and an hour’s extra sleep isn’t going to make much difference now. Luckily I’ve got the Microsoft and Sony Conferences to look forward to – a day of Kinect and Playstation Plus. Welcome to the games industry.
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