The Ballad of Richard Cheesecake and Wilfred Factory

Ah, E3. It’s the event that I spent all of my teenage years dreaming about attending, and one which I’m now visiting for my third year in a row. After being separated from my beloved companions last year and doing the entire thing solo (something I’ll try not to mention too much), I’ve once again been reunited with Chris, Pete and Mark. We don’t have Zero here this time though, something about watching dogs, apparently.

Unlike Mark and Chris, my journey to E3 was quite relaxed. I managed to convince my housemate to pack for me (making me glad that they no longer ask about this at the airport) and, thankfully, they avoided the temptation of ensuring that I flew out with no underwear. I also somehow convinced a parent to drive me to the airport and bring my dog along for the ride. Unlike Gamescom, however, there were no unexpected boarding pass surprises but, unlike Gamescom, there was also no-one to wind up if there were any.

It’s funny how your memory works, sometimes. It’s been two years since the GamingLives crew last wreaked havoc on E3, and it had finally started to feel like something that happened a long while ago. Yet, as I was finally reunited with the others,  I remembered it like it was only a couple of weeks ago. Within minutes, memories came flooding back, reminding me of the times spent at The Cheesecake Factory, Umami Burger, The Cheesecake Factory, Saddle Ranch, Bubba Gump’s, and perhaps The Cheesecake Factory.

With The Cheesecake Factory – as well as maybe a convention about videogames or something – only hours away, I eagerly sat on the plane and caught up with a bunch of films that I’d missed at the cinema, narrowly avoiding the temptation to do nothing but re-watch The Grand Budapest Hotel about five times.

As this isn’t a site about films, I’ll try and keep the following reviews brief.
A Long Way Down: a surprisingly poignant film about a bunch of people who are planning to kill themselves, but then meet Pierce Brosnan and decide not to. Wholly unrealistic.
American Hustle: Christian Bale plays a man with a comb-over, and I stopped paying attention the moment Jennifer Lawrence or Louis C.K weren’t on-screen.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: the story of how Ben Stiller managed to trick a Hollywood studio into financing his gap year.
Dallas Buyer’s Club: Matthew McConaughey plays a man who gets AIDS, is harassed by Jared Leto in a dress, and somehow steals an Oscar from the infinitely more deserving Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. Lost interest when I realised it wasn’t an autobiography about Ste’s life.

After landing, and somehow taking roughly three and a half hours to get from the airport to the apartment, there wasn’t too much to talk about. A surprisingly comfy sleep on the couch later, and I was ready to face the day ahead. The last two years involved early starts swiftly followed by mad dashes to conferences and hurriedly trying to smash our thoughts into the nearest keyboard.

Instead, we went shopping. If Lorna laughed at us two years ago for discussing what clothes we were going to wear more than the games we were about to see, she would be positively cackling, right now. It turns out we probably could have done with some co-ordination, as Chris and I managed to stumble out of the apartment wearing the same coloured clothes as each other. Mark remarked we looked like twins. If that’s the case, I’m definitely the Schwarzenegger of the pair. Definitely.

Although we came to E3 for the games, it was surprisingly refreshing not having to stress out about the conferences this time around. We’d only be seeing everything the same time as everyone else, and without any Earth-shattering moments like Sony allowing pre-owned games, I wasn’t exactly missing the atmosphere, either.

Instead of listening to EA tell us why this year’s FIFA is going to be much better than the one you just paid for (honest!), we were wandering the near-empty halls of the conference centre and picking up our press passes. Rather than watch Ubisoft talk about yet another bloody Assassin’s Creed, and trying to make the idea of being French sound palatable, Mark was buying gifts to take home to his kids. While people were queueing to see how Sony were planning to bury Microsoft in the cavernous grave they dug themselves last year, we were munching on steaks at The Cheesecake Factory. Except Chris. He had an Everything Pizza and couldn’t even finish it.

That being said, he more than redeemed himself later on when, after Mark’s mashed potatoes had failed to arrived, Chris suggested writing a letter of complaint to Richard Cheesecake himself. Pete followed this up by adding that he should CC in his business partner Wilfred Factory, and I laughed so hard that I managed to smash my head into the wall behind me. I guess you had to be there.

Someone who was there was the waitress who, when witnessing me bash my head against the wall, neglected to ask if I was okay and instead almost collapsed in fits of laughter. “I’d be so embarrassed if I were you right now“, she said. I’d have been too, had the impact of the wall not broken the part of my brain that feels shame.

The first time we were here, I didn’t end up writing any diary entries, and last year I went in with the intention to do so, but only managed one before jacking the whole thing in to write about the games instead. With that in mind, I’m fully aware this will probably be my only diary entry this time, and have decided to dedicate it to Chris and Pete, whose joke I’ve appropriated for the title of this entry, and who the litigious American culture has taught me I should sue if my bump to the head ends up causing dermanent prain bamage.

Here’s to you, and here’s to another amazing year at E3. I hope.

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One Comment

  1. Chris Toffer says:

    Roger. It was Roger Cheesecake. Simply. Amazing.

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